Market Traders Invited to Have Their Say on Wholesale Change

By on 28/07/2011 in News

Consultation on the future of Birmingham's Wholesale Market will formally begin this morning as officers from Birmingham City Council meet market traders to outline current plans and discuss options for the future.

The meeting follows confirmation last week that plans to relocate to a new purpose built facility in Witton were no longer viable due to wider economic issues.

Traders, businesses they serve and the public will now all get the opportunity to have their say on the future the market, ahead of recommendations being drawn up for agreement by the City Council's Cabinet later in the year.

The existing building in which the market is housed is more than 35 years old, in desperate need of costly refurbishment and no longer fit-for-purpose.

In a recent survey of traders the overwhelming majority of respondents (80%) were in favour of a move.*

Cllr Paul Tilsley, Deputy Leader of Birmingham City Council, said:

“Since the original plans to relocate the market to Witton were agreed, there have been a number of significant developments, both locally and in the national economy, which have resulted in the original plans no longer being viable.

“These have included the closure of Advantage West Midlands and loss of associated funding opportunities, the Government increasing the cost to local authorities of Prudential Borrowing and wider pressures placed upon public and private sector budgets by the prevailing economic climate.

“We will now look to work with traders and the private sector within the city to explore a range of more cost effective options for relocation.”

Traders at Birmingham's Open, Rag and Indoor Markets will also be consulted on the wholesale market plans, although there are no plans or need to relocate any of these operations.

ENDS

*All 94 traders surveyed - 55 out of 68 respondents in favour of the move.

For more information contact Simon Houltby 0121 303 3503 

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  1. Emma says:

    Birmingham City Council needs to work hard to ensure that the markets are not lost. If Birmingham wants to retain its status as the second city, we need to offer things that draw people into the city, but also support the residents. As food prices increase due to inflation, people need to have the option of cheap fruit and veg. Also as Birmingham has the highest obesity problem in Europe, without access to cheap fruit and veg this will worsen. Look at London and Paris, two cities who pride themselves on having plentiful markets. It is not good enough for Birmingham city council to wash their hands of this situation, it is their problem. Not only will jobs be lost, but local pubs in Digbeth also rely on the trade of the markets. To not support the traders in finding a new wholesale market will be tearing the life and soul out of Birmingham. Do not make Birmingham another faceless city, keep its individuality-which lies in the heart of the market.

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