After three years of hard work Barking and Dagenham Council have managed to beat six other London boroughs in the bid to bring London's three iconic markets to the area. In the end, a site at Barking Reach was agreed as the preferred location for the City of London Corporation's historic wholesale markets.
MP Jon Cruddas said: “I want to congratulate the work of Barking and Dagenham Council – this is fantastic news for the borough and I’m delighted to see the council’s efforts have paid off. This will be a monumental step in developing the local economy and creating skilled local jobs as the city moves east.”
Billingsgate, Smithfield and New Spitalfields are leading wholesale food markets which have served Londoners and the nation for centuries. The move of markets could bring up to 3,500 jobs to Barking and Dagenham with plans for a cultural centre which formed part of the winning bid. With a predicted combined turnover of around £800m, the markets would naturally bring more extensive economic benefits to the area, including direct financial contributions in the form of business rates which would see around £500,000 retained by the local authority.