Public consultation on plans to move New Spitalfields, Billingsgate and Smithfield markets to Dagenham
PUBLISHED: 15:00 11 June 2019 | UPDATED: 15:37 11 June 2019
A public consultation has been opened on plans to move London's three historic wholesale food markets to one site at Dagenham.
Barking Reach at Dagenham Dock was chosen in April as the preferred site to "consolidate and relocate" the world renowned Smithfield, Billingsgate and New Spitalfields markets, which are managed by City of London Corporation (CLC).
The corporation says the project aims to bring the three markets together to create "a world-class new wholesale food location for London and the UK."
It would provide market tenants with more modern facilities in a location offering room to grow, while the move would also help address traffic congestion and improve air quality in the capital.
CLC policy chair Catherine McGuinness said the centuries-old markets are "at the heart of London's food economy" and the move aimed to ensure their continued success.
"We want to hear from market tenants, suppliers, customers and other key stakeholders across the region as part of this public consultation," she said.
The vision for the site includes an ambition of delivering, in partnership with Barking and Dagenham Council, a food school to foster talent in the industry through apprenticeships and world-class courses.
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Potential use of the river and rail network to transport produce to and from the new site will also be explored.
CLC markets committee chair James Tumbridge 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."
Barking and Dagenham was chosen ahead of sites in Redbridge, Newham, Waltham Forest and Thurrock in Essex as the preferred new home for the markets.
The move would bring the UK's largest inland fish market (Billingsgate), a world-famous meat and poultry market (Smithfield) and Britian's premier fruit and vegetable market (New Spitalfields) to the borough, with a predicted combined turnover of around £800 million.
Moving the markets would require approval from Parliament.
Subject to the outcome of the consultation, CLC would propose to bring forward a Private Bill in November 2020 to provide the statutory basis for their relocation.
Visit wholesalemarkets.cityoflondon.gov.uk/markets/consultation by August 6 for more details and to submit comments on the plans.