Market Move Starts

The Supplement to the Official Journal of the EU, where tenders are placed for projects Europewide has just launched a tender for a partner to help develop the wholesale markets new facility.

A development partner is sought to work in collaboration with BCC Markets and its stakeholders to provide a new wholesale market facility. The current wholesale market is located within the city centre close to the Bull Ring on a 21 acre site. The facility is occupied by 82 fruit vegetable and flowers, fish, seafood and poultry, red meat and food service businesses. It is envisaged that the new wholesale market facility will require a 35 acre site (to accommodate business expansion needs) and will be relocated within 5 miles of the existing site. This is required to protect the "local" food supply chain and food distribution system, particularly where produce is supplied to the retail markets. It is anticipated that the solution will involve the design and construction of a new facility for the wholesale market with additional new build for added value food businesses (processing, packaging, distribution) and offices, restaurants and some retail food outlets. We anticipate that the development partner will bring the development forward on a long leasehold basis and could play a significant future role in the management of the scheme, including the development as a Regional Food Centre, Centre of Food Excellence and "Food Tourism" destination.

The markets, the UK's largest integrated markets, cover a 21 acre site, totalling 46 450 m² of space which the tender believes could increase to 85 460 m² on a 35 acre site valued at £100,000,000.

The tender follows annoucements in the Birmingham Post, Birmingham market to move out of city and Just think what we could do with £200m, in which the council appointed consultants to prepare a business case to move the markets to a location more accessible for it's customers and with proceeds from the sale of land going towards the development of the new Birmingham Library.

The markets have a long history on the site with the Smithfield Cattle Market being established on the site in 1817 following the purchase of the old moated Manor House of the De Birmingham family by the Street Commissioners in 1816.

The Old St. Martin's Market was used as a Wholesale Market until 1897. The Wholesale Fish Market in Bell Street was opened in 1869 and demolished in 1958.

St. Martins Lane opened in 1883 and was divided into two sections, the larger upper part forming the Wholesale Fruit and Vegetable Market, and the lower part, bordering Moat Row was initially used as a toll market for farmers and growers and for the retail 'Rag' Market each Tuesday and Saturday afternoons, selling clothing, hardware and manufactured goods.
A Cattle and Pig Market opened in 1892, situated in Montague Street.

The City Meat Market and abattoir in Bradford Street opened in 1897. Factors such as the deterioration of the old Smithfield and City meat Markets, the loss of the Fish Markets in Bell Street for the new Inner Road, and congestion of the narrow streets around the wholesale area, all led to the decision to build the present Wholesale Market complex.

In February 1974, Phase I of the scheme - the New Fish, Meat and Poultry Markets, were opened for trade, followed in 1975 by the Horticultural Market. In 1976 ancillary warehousing completed the complex.


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