The City of London Corporation has launched a public consultation on its preferred site to consolidate and relocate three historic wholesale food markets; Smithfield, Billingsgate and New Spitalfields.
A site in Dagenham Dock, London Borough of Barking and Dagenham, was chosen in April as the preferred option to relocate the three markets, all of which are owned and managed by the City Corporation, so that they can best serve future generations.
The project aims to bring the markets together on a single site to create a world-class new wholesale food location for London and the UK.
This would provide market tenants with more modern facilities in a location offering room for growth. It would also help to tackle traffic congestion and improve air quality in the Capital.
The vision for the preferred site includes an ambition of delivering – in partnership with the London Borough of Barking & Dagenham – a food school to foster talent in the food industry through apprenticeships and leading food courses. The potential use of the river and rail network to transport produce to and from the new site will also be explored.
Interested stakeholders can submit comments on the plans via the consultation portal until
Catherine McGuinness, policy chair at the local authority, 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, chair of the City 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 would propose to bring forward a Private Bill in November 2020 to provide the statutory basis for the relocation of the markets.