Work is underway on a new £7 million food hub to house Liverpool’s fruit, vegetable and flower market in Gillmoss.
The new 65,000 square foot market will include parking, a café and public toilets, replacing the existing rundown building off Edge Lane in Old Swan.
It will complement other nearby developments including the £12 million Geopost DPD parcel facility which has created 250 jobs and the building of new industrial units by St Modwen.
There is also potential to expand on the adjacent site owned by the City Council, to facilitate a wider Food Hub as part of the Stonebridge Cross Mayoral Development Zone.
It is the latest phase of a significant investment programme in markets which has already seen a new Great Homer Street – ‘Greatie’ – in Everton and a £2.5 million refurbishment of St Johns Market in the city centre.
Cabinet member for regeneration, Councillor Malcolm Kennedy, said: “This is great news for the traders who have been waiting a long time for the creation of an attractive new development with modern facilities.
“The existing market is in a really poor condition and the number of traders has been dwindling for a very long time and the aim of the move is to put it on a solid footing and enable it to expand in the future.
“We are also confident that we will be able to transfer the popular Sunday market and car boot sale over to the new location.
“This is all part of our wider aim of driving up the standard and quality of Liverpool’s markets.”
The construction work is being carried out by Willmott Dixon, which is behind a number of recent projects in the city including Archbishop Blanch School, Archbishop Beck Sports College, Notre Dame Secondary School and Birtenshaw and New Heights school in Fazakerley.
Anthony Dillon, managing director of Willmott Dixon in the North, said: “We are delighted to be working with the council to create the fruit, vegetable and flower market.
“As ever, our approach will be to ensure the work benefits local companies and sustains jobs; so far 60% of spend on previous projects has been with companies within the city region. This includes Liverpool-based A&B Engineering who we used on all our secondary school projects.”
The development will be complete in November 2017 and following a period of fitting out by the traders, will open early in 2018.
The cost of borrowing for the build of the new market will be paid for through rental income from the relocated market traders.
The fruit, vegetable and flower market’s existing site is to be redeveloped as a new home for a Merseyside Police patrol hub, while also providing space for the Force’s vehicle repair facility, currently based at Smithdown Lane. Some land will also be used to rebuild the neighbouring St Cuthbert’s Catholic Primary School, while the remaining nine acres fronting Prescot Road is set to be used for new housing.