Smithfield Market set to relocate to Dagenham

Smithfield Market Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The current market celebrated its 150th anniversary last year

A central London meat market which has been used by traders for more than 800 years is set to leave the City.

Smithfield Market, along with Billingsgate and New Spitalfields markets, is expected to move to the site of an old power station in Barking Reach, Dagenham.

Catherine McGuinness, policy chair at the City of London Corporation, said the move would "secure their success".

A public consultation into the move will be launched in the summer.

Market sellers have been trading from the Farringdon site since the 12th Century.

In 1174 it was described by William Fitzstephen, clerk to Thomas à Becket, as "a smooth field where every Friday there is a celebrated rendezvous of fine horses to be sold" as well as "swine... and cows and oxen".

Image caption Billingsgate Market is the UK's largest inland fish market

The current market set-up celebrated its 150th anniversary last year.

Billingsgate Market, in Poplar, is the UK's largest inland fish market with some 25,000 tonnes of products sold through its merchants each year.

New Spitalfields Market has been in Leyton since the early 1990s and claims to be the UK's highest-turnover horticultural market.

Image caption A public consultation into the move will take place in the summer

Ms McGuinness said the new Dagenham site would offer "more modern facilities and space for traders to grow."

Any relocation of Smithfield Market will require a private bill to be to be passed by Parliament, with the corporation expected to submit the proposed legislation in November 2020.

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