Due to the issues facing the three existing wholesale markets, the City of London has plans to co-locate Smithfield, Billingsgate and New Spitalfields for the first time in their histories at a new purpose-built site in the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham, at Dagenham Dock.
The market now faces a series of pressing challenges and requires modernising to protect its future. However, its Grade II* listed buildings means there are limitations on the modifications that can be made to improve trading conditions and enhance the efficiency of the market.
One of the biggest challenges for Smithfield Market comes from being in an open environment and the ongoing risk of mixing HGV’s forklift trucks, market workers, pedestrians, cars and cyclists. The risk between market operations and the public is expected to become even more challenging with the opening of the Elizabeth line and the Museum of London’s relocation to West Smithfield.”
At Billingsgate, tenants currently rely on ice to keep their produce chilled on display in order to meet their customers’ expectations for fresh fish and reduce the volume of food waste. A new facility would provide a more modern, temperature-controlled environment, and help to meet stringent safety standards for handling fish.
New Spitalfields market now faces a series of pressing challenges and requires modernising to protect its future. Notably, some parts of the building are already outdated and there is not enough room for tenants to store and display their produce. Further, the restrictive site design, which has no unloading bays or delivery docks, creates substantial operating challenges, including conflicts between pedestrians and forklift truck drivers, which drive through the main market floor.