The City of London Corporation has launched a public consultation on the new wholesale “mega market” in East London, bringing New Spitalfields, Billingsgate and Smithfields markets under one roof.
A site in Dagenham Dock, Barking, London was singled out by the Corporation as the preferred location for the new market, having been chosen in April.
Market authorities hope to build a new world class wholesale food market, including a food school to foster talent in the industry through apprenticeships, and food courses. The Corporation says it is also exploring the use of river and rail networks to transport produce to and from the site.
Interested stakeholders can see further details and submit comments on the plans via a consultation portal.
Some traders at New Spitalfields market have expressed concerns about the new location however, with traffic and road networks a key issue. The current New Spitalfields sight has proven popular with traders, and moving further east has wholesalers worried about the impact on their businesses.
Catherine McGuinness, policy chair at the City of London Corporation, said: “Billingsgate, New Spitalfields and Smithfield sit at the heart of London’s food economy, having served our citizens for centuries.
“In order to secure their continued success, our preferred site for consolidating the City Corporation’s wholesale markets would offer more modern facilities and space for traders to grow so they can meet changing demands.
“We want to hear from market tenants, suppliers, customers and other key stakeholders across the region as part of this public consultation. Our number one priority is to maintain a top-quality market environment serving London and the South East.”
James Tumbridge, chairman of the City of London Corporation’s Markets Committee, said: “Our ambition is to provide the right environment for the long-term success of our wholesale markets.
“We continue to work toward a vision for a food centre suitable for London’s future, in terms of its scale and environmental impact. It’s an honour to help guide this key part of London’s infrastructure to feed our great city.”
Subject to the outcome of the consultation, the City Corporation propose to bring forward a Private Bill in Parliament in November 2020, to provide the statutory basis for the relocation of the markets.