London Borough of Redbridge has unveiled plans for a 162-acre site in Fairlop, as the potential new home for three of London’s most iconic markets; Billingsgate, Smithfields and New Spitalfields markets.
The City of London Corporation is seeking to relocate three of their wholesale food markets on to a single site to guarantee their long-term operation. They are currently in the process of shortlisting potential sites ahead of a period of public consultation due to take place this summer. The site in Redbridge is the only proposed scheme that is large enough to realise the City of London’s vision for a state-of-the-art modern facility to house all three markets and give them the space to thrive, whilst remaining located within the M25.
As well as easy access to the M25, the site benefits from excellent road connectivity via the A12, A13 and M11, making it the ideal location for the markets to maximise distribution to catering and hospitality businesses across London and the South East.
The relocation of the three markets to Redbridge would be expected to create up to 3,500 local jobs alongside 200 new SMEs and businesses. These will be supported by the planned on-site training academy to support the skills needs of businesses and offer career opportunities. With a predicted combined turnover of c£800m, the markets would naturally bring wider economic benefits to the local area, including direct financial contributions in the form of business rates which would see c£500k retained by LB Redbridge.
The London Borough of Redbridge wish to see a sustainable scheme on the site which would be considered an exemplar eco-development. One of the key elements of the Council’s vision is for the site to be carbon positive and produce energy from waste, including bio-fuel technology whilst also making net additions to the habitat through the use of extensive planting, landscaping and green roofs.
Councillor Jas Athwal, Leader of Redbridge Council, said:“Redbridge is open for business and we’re very excited to propose Fairlop as the next potential home for three world-famous markets.
Building upon the arrival of the Elizabeth Line later this year, we already have an established and bold strategy for growth in Redbridge that makes us the perfect partner to support the City of London’s vision for the future relocation of its markets.
Local residents would welcome the creation of a large number of jobs in the area as well as the opportunity for an on-site college aimed at training up new employees to work in the industry.”
Keith Prince, London Assembly Member for Redbridge and Havering, said: “Redbridge has a proud agricultural history which makes the site in Fairlop the natural choice to re-locate Billingsgate, Smithfield and New Spitalfields markets on to one state of the art modern wholesale facility. There is a unique opportunity here to educate the public about the “farm to fork” cycle with sustainable year-round food growing just metres from where it would eventually be sold thanks to plans for on-site processing, packing and production facilities.
This site in Fairlop is a once in a lifetime opportunity to create a long-lasting legacy for both the City of London Markets and Redbridge. The vision to bring on to one site, three large wholesale markets, retail space, education facilities as well as processing and distribution facilities is unprecedented on this scale.”
Wes Streeting, Member of Parliament for Ilford North, said: “The re-location of these three iconic markets will deliver the best of both worlds for the City of London and Redbridge. By providing a site that is carbon positive and has the capacity and transport links to secure the long-term future of the markets, this eco-development could also create thousands of jobs as well as bring c£800 million of investment to the local area.
I fully support the green credentials of the proposals and the innovative ideas such as energy from waste, bio-fuel technologies and food waste being recycled into compost for use by nearby farms. These proposals demonstrate a bold vision which we believe will resonate with market traders and customers alike.”