Opportunities and Challenges

Photo of Smithfield Market.

The City of London Corporation’s three wholesale food markets at Billingsgate, New Spitalfields and Smithfield have been at the heart of the city’s food industry for centuries, serving Londoners with fresh produce as well as providing tenants with the space to establish themselves as leading traders in their field.

Our number one priority is therefore to maintain a top-quality market environment that continues to serve future generations of traders and customers in London and the South East.


The existing markets have served London well. However, each market is facing a series of pressing challenges and are in need of modernisation.

The condition and quality of the buildings are below what is expected of modern wholesale markets and, even with significant investment, the markets would still be operating in old buildings in unsustainable locations.

This – along with the many constraints of the buildings – means the ability for businesses to maintain high standards and grow is an ongoing challenge.

Co-locating all three markets to the former Barking Reach Power Station in Dagenham Dock will not only secure their futures, it will also free up the existing sites for new uses and help us to realise our Culture Mile ambitions.


The move to Dagenham Dock would bring a number of significant benefits to the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham, providing an economic focus to the borough through food.

Relocating the market to Dagenham Dock will also bring a number of environmental benefits, with the potential to use the River Thames to transfer goods and produce. The scheme also presents an opportunity to reduce the markets’ carbon emissions by designing the new premises with sustainability as a top priority.

As well as providing market tenants with new, modern and environmentally sustainable facilities, we are working with stakeholders to identify the requirements for a food school, which will train future market traders and food workers in the borough.

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