Smithfield Market to be relocated?
The City of London Corporation has conducted a strategic review into the future of its three wholesale food markets; Smithfield (meat and poultry), Billingsgate (fish) and New Spitalfields (fruit, vegetables and flowers).
Smithfield is the largest wholesale meat market in the UK and one of the largest of its kind in Europe.
Following the review, a proposal has been agreed to consolidate the three markets and relocate them to a single site together with related uses such as an apprenticeship school for fishmongers and butchers.
A key element of this work will be to acquire a suitable site of approximately 100 acres.
Lambert Smith Hampton has been appointed to undertake the search for a site.
The City Corporation states it has launched a: “major transformation programme to undertake the necessary feasibility studies, options appraisals, and development of a business case.”
Once a site has been nominated, a business case, along with consultation outcomes, will be considered across a number of City Corporation committees for final approval.
Parliamentary legislation will be required to agree any relocation.
• Smithfield Market – Farringdon, London
• Billingsgate Market – Poplar, London
• New Spitalfields Market – Leyton, London
Roger Kelsey, chief executive at National Craft Butchers (NCB) has commented on the proposal.
He said: “It’s significant that this should be announced on the 150th Anniversary of Smithfield Market. When Smithfield was relocated to the Caledonia Road in Islington back in the 1850s it was a disaster resulting in a rethink and with completion of the Metropolitan Railway the present market being built.
“Moving Covent Garden to Nine Elms, Billingsgate to Poplar and Spitalfields to Stratford have not been the successes expected. Hence, a rethink now.
“Obviously times change and change has to be accommodated. Every journey begins with a single step and this is a first step at the beginning of a very long journey. The City Corporation has a monumental task finding and developing a 100 acre site. Let’s hope it has the budget and the support to match.”