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Planning application submitted to move iconic food markets to Dagenham

A concept image of what the market could look like (credit: City of London Corporation)

A planning application has been submitted which could pave the way for London’s food markets to move to Dagenham.

Billingsgate, New Spitalfields, and Smithfield are set to move to the former site of the Barking Reach Power Station in Chequers Lane, with the target for them to open as soon as 2025.

The City of London Corporation, which is responsible for the three markets, announced today that it had submitted the application to Barking and Dagenham Council.

Catherine McGuinness, Policy Chair at the City of London Corporation said: “The submission of our outline planning application is another significant step in our journey to creating a new wholesale food market for the UK, London and the South East in Dagenham Dock.

“Relocating the historic Smithfield, New Spitalfields and Billingsgate markets will secure their futures, providing much-needed modern facilities and spaces for our tenants to grow, so they can continue to support London’s food economy for the next generation.

“We are excited that our markets colocation project comes at a time when the borough has ambitious plans for its development. Together, we can play an important role in driving the economic recovery.”

The site where the markets are set to be built (credit: City of London Corporation)

The move to bring the three markets under one roof would create the UK’s largest wholesale food destination. 

Barking and Dagenham Council will consider the plans and a decision on the application is expected later this year.

James Tumbridge, Chairman of the City Corporation’s Markets Committee, said: “People across our markets are making an extraordinary effort to ensure Londoners can continue to get high-quality produce on to their plates.

“As we look beyond the current pandemic, it is so important to invest in the future and help recovery. These plans aim to provide an exciting new home for our markets at Dagenham Dock that will safeguard their long-term future, securing jobs.

“Importantly, a new food school will help to train tomorrow’s market traders by providing the skills required to develop the next generation of butchers, fishmongers, and fruiterers.”

The news was announced on the same day that Time 107.5 revealed Dagenham Sunday Market has closed down permanently. The two stories are unrelated, and refer to separate sites.

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