READ ALL ABOUT IT

READ ALL ABOUT IT

Logout
Smithfield Market’s regeneration

Smithfield Market’s regeneration

8 March 2017

Plans for the total demolition of the western market buildings were thrown out by the government in 2008, which also stepped in again in 2014 to halt Henderson Global Investors’ proposals for a £160m office and retail redevelopment behind retained façades. Years of uncertainty surrounding the future of such a large site has put the brakes on spin-off development that would normally accompany major redevelopment. Especially as the site is a chicken drumstick’s throw away from Farringdon’s nascent Crossrail station.

Finally, at the start of this year, a solution seems to have been found. The Museum of London will move into the western buildings, vacating its existing base in the Barbican. The £250m project will proceed thanks to turnkey funding of £70m from the mayor of London and £110m from the City of London Corporation. A planning application is expected next year, with the renovated Smithfield buildings expected to open in 2022.

 

Smithfield Market’s regeneration
By Mark Simmons | Retail | Development | 06-03-2017 | 11:17

Smithfield may be one of London’s most misunderstood locations. As local experts such as Colliers International’s Shaun Simons are quick to point out: “Smithfield is part of the Clerkenwell market, it’s not a submarket in itself. That would be like suggesting Wardour Street is separate from Soho.”

Although there are roads named West Smithfield and Smithfield Street, the term is usually applied to the impressive Victorian market buildings flanked by Charterhouse Street to the north and Long Lane to the south.

There is confusion about these buildings, too. The eastern-most one houses the Grade II listed Smithfield meat market – the capital’s last-trading major wholesale market. But the western ones, including the General and Poultry Market buildings, have been empty for decades.

Plans for the total demolition of the western market buildings were thrown out by the government in 2008, which also stepped in again in 2014 to halt Henderson Global Investors’ proposals for a £160m office and retail redevelopment behind retained façades. Years of uncertainty surrounding the future of such a large site has put the brakes on spin-off development that would normally accompany major redevelopment. Especially as the site is a chicken drumstick’s throw away from Farringdon’s nascent Crossrail station.

Finally, at the start of this year, a solution seems to have been found. The Museum of London will move into the western buildings, vacating its existing base in the Barbican. The £250m project will proceed thanks to turnkey funding of £70m from the mayor of London and £110m from the City of London Corporation. A planning application is expected next year, with the renovated Smithfield buildings expected to open in 2022.

London’s last big wholesale market: still the meat-ing place

Billingsgate, Covent Garden and Spitalfields are the well-known names of former London wholesale markets that have changed use since the second world war. Smithfield is unlikely to join them anytime soon. “The meat market will remain the meat market – we don’t anticipate it doing a Billingsgate,” says Alistair Subba-Row, Senior Partner at Farebrother. 

The freeholder is the City Corporation. Caroline Dwyer, its director of the built environment, says that there are no plans to move the existing market. “Records show there has been a meat market there for 1,000 years, so it is important to celebrate that heritage,” she says.

Ironically the emphasis on heritage has delayed the very regeneration that can help to preserve historic areas. The comparison with nearby Crossrail station Tottenham Court Road is vivid.  says: “You could have wiped out all the buildings on Tottenham Court Road and no one would have cared – that’s not the case with Smithfield.”

Read the full article