Birmingham & Black Country

Birmingham Wholesale Markets to move to Witton

Birmingham Wholesale Markets Precinct
Image caption Seventy firms employ 1,100 people on site, Birmingham Wholesale Fresh Produce Association said

Birmingham's Wholesale Markets are to move to a new purpose-built facility outside the centre, the city council has said.

The authority said last year that the current Pershore Street site in Digbeth was not "fit for purpose".

It has unveiled plans to move the markets to a 210,000 sq ft centre at The Hub industrial estate in Witton.

Traders said they were relieved their futures had been sorted after "more than five years of uncertainty".

'Six million dollar question'

Peter Marshall, from the Wholesale Fresh Produce Association, said: "At least we've now got a definite site and a future to look forward to.

"Before that we faced the possibility of being evicted by the council with no compensation."

Mr Marshall said there was still some uncertainty among traders about how their sales would be affected by moving out of the city centre.

"That's the six million dollar question. No-one really knows the answer but at least we will have a big say in how the management of the market will work in Witton."

The council said it had considered three sites for the new markets including Witton, Signal Point and the former Alstom site at Washwood Heath.

Deputy leader Ian Ward said: "The wholesale market it is important to the local economy and the food supply chain which is why we've been determined to drive through this relocation."

He said the council will discuss the relocation plans at a meeting next week.

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