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Chetwoods to relocate famous London markets to huge Dagenham site

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AJ100 practice Chetwoods has been revealed as the architect behind plans to co-locate Billingsgate, New Spitalfields and Smithfield markets to a new site in Dagenham Dock

The City of London Corporation which owns the three existing market sites, is set to launch a public consultation next week on the plans to create a massive food wholesale centre on the former Barking Reach Power Station in east London.

Smithfield meat market, which has stood on the same site near Farringdon since the 10th century, will be joined on the abandoned industrial plot by the New Spitalfields fruit and vegetable market, which moved out of the City to Leyton in 1991, and Billingsgate fish market, which relocated to the Isle of Dogs in 1982. 

A spokesperson for the Corporation said: ’Dagenham Dock has been chosen as the only viable site to secure the long-term futures of the markets. It will also help to reduce unsustainable levels of traffic congestion in central London, improve the capital’s air quality and free up the existing sites for other uses and [at Smithfield] the City Corporation’s Culture Mile ambitions.’

Plans are already under way at the unused, western end of the Smithfield market complex for the Museum of London’s new £337 million home.

The outline proposals for the huge 17ha Dagenham plot will be revealed next Wednesday (29 January) by Chetwoods, which has made a name building specialist logistic centres and innovative warehouse structures.

As well as creating modern facilities for market tenants within an ’exemplary sustainable design’, the plans will also include a new training school, which will educate future market traders and food workers within Barking and Dagenham.

Catherine McGuinness, policy chair at the City of London Corporation, said: ’Our number one priority is to provide a top-quality market environment serving London and the South East – not just fit for today’s needs but also for tomorrow’s. The move to Dagenham Dock will enable our wholesale markets to flourish, providing more modern facilities and space for our tenants to grow so that they can continue to support London’s food economy.

’The launch of these new plans shows we are one step closer to realising our ambitions for this site – a vision which will help us create a modern and sustainable co-located food location, serving existing and future generations across London and the UK.’

Darren Rodwell, leader of Barking & Dagenham Council, added: ’The proposed new home for London’s markets promises to bring a huge economic boost to the borough, and our priority will be to make sure that local people have the skills and training to take advantage of the employment opportunities that will arise.

’So it’s especially important that our residents and local businesses share their knowledge of the area and respond to the consultation to ensure that we can ensure the markets operate smoothly and flourish and grow in their new location.’

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