Fruit and veg market hub

New fruit and veg market plan moves forward

 

A new £7 million food hub to house Liverpool’s fruit, vegetable and flower market is set to be built in Gillmoss.

A report to the council’s Cabinet on Friday 28 October is recommending a contract be awarded to Willmott Dixon to construct the new facility at Stonebridge Business Park.

The new 80,000 square feet market will include parking, a café and public toilets, replacing the existing rundown building off Edge Lane in Old Swan.

It will complement other nearby developments including the new £12 million Geopost DPD parcel facility which has created 250 jobs and new industrial units being built by St Modwen and scheduled for completion in February 2017.

There is also the potential for meat and fish traders – based in a building off Prescot Road not owned by the city council – to transfer to the new location in a further phase of the development.

It is the latest phase of a significant investment programme which has already seen the opening of the new Great Homer Street ‘Greatie’ market, while the revamped St Johns Market will open on 14 November following a £2.5 million revamp.

Cabinet member for regeneration, Councillor Malcolm Kennedy, said: “This is a really exciting scheme which I know traders are delighted with.

“The existing market is in a really poor condition and the number of traders has been dwindling for a very long time, so we have been working hard to identify a new site which will put it on a solid footing and enable it to expand in the future.

“We are also confident that we will be able to transfer the popular Sunday market and car boot sale over to the new location.

“This is all part of our wider aim of driving up the standard and quality of Liverpool’s markets now we’ve taken back control of them.”

Around 10 acres of the fruit, vegetable and flower market’s existing site is set to be redeveloped as a new home for a Merseyside Police patrol hub, while also providing space for the Force’s vehicle repair facility, currently based at Smithdown Lane. Some land will also be used to rebuild the neighbouring St Cuthbert’s Catholic Primary School, while the remaining nine acres fronting Prescot Road is set to be used for new housing.

Cllr Kennedy added: “We have come up with a comprehensive regeneration scheme for the site off Edge Lane site which will enable Merseyside Police to relocate from Smithdown Lane, allows for the much-needed redevelopment of St Cuthbert’s Catholic Primary School as well as the construction of new homes on a brownfield site.”

The final piece of the jigsaw will see the city council enter into a land swap agreement with Merseyside Police and see the site at Smithdown Lane used to expand the city’s Knowledge Quarter as part of Project Paddington, with a new development of office accommodation to attract businesses and jobs.

Subject to planning approval, it is expected that construction of the new market could start by the end of the year and open in September 2017 as part of the Stonebridge Cross Mayoral Development Zone.

The cost of borrowing for the build of the new market will be paid for through rental income from the relocated market traders.