Birmingham & Black Country

Birmingham Wholesale Market relocation plans dropped

Wholesale market entrance
Image caption The council says the market is no longer 'fit for purpose'

Traders at Birmingham's Wholesale Market say its future is in doubt after being told plans to relocate it are no longer financially viable.

The current city centre site is 35 years old and needs major refurbishment but the city council said plans to move to Witton were too costly.

Other venues are being sought and a spokesman for the council said it remained "optimistic".

But market spokesman Peter Marshall said traders have an uncertain future.

He said: "Schools, prisons, even Birmingham City Council get their fresh produce from the wholesale market.

'Not an option'

"The nearest one would be Manchester or Spitalfields, this is complete and utter nonsense."

Finding another location will be hard, he added.

The plans to relocate were approved by the council in May 2009.

Penny Smith, assistant director of leisure and support services at the council, said she was optimistic about finding a new site and the traders had lots of ideas.

"We are entering into a phase of consultation with them over the next two to three months," she said.

The council said the existing market was no longer fit for purpose, requiring expensive work to remain safe and staying "is not an option".

"The proposed move to a purpose-built site in Witton has become unaffordable due to the wider economic climate and funding which was withdrawn when Advantage West Midlands closed," the spokesman said.

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