Liverpool progresses market plans in regen jigsaw

Liverpool City Council has named Stonebridge Business Park as the planned location for a new £7m fruit and veg market, and is set to award the build contract to Willmott Dixon.

The 80,000 sq ft market will include parking, a café and public toilets, replacing the market’s current building off Edge Lane in Old Swan.

According to the council, there is potential for meat and fish traders, based in a building off Prescot Road not owned by the city council, to transfer to the new location in a further phase of the development.

Under the proposals, the fruit, vegetable and flower market, which occupies half of the land in Old Swan, would move from its existing building to Stonebridge, allowing around 10 acres of the Edge Lane site to be redeveloped as a new home for a Merseyside Police patrol hub, including providing space for the Force’s vehicle repair facility.

The police’s current vehicle repair base on Smithdown Lane is earmarked for redevelopment as part of Paddington Village, the landmark project planned as part of the £1bn Knowledge Quarter.

The rest of the land at Old Swan will 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.

Cllr Malcolm Kennedy, Cabinet member for regeneration, said: “This is a really exciting scheme which I know traders are delighted with.

“The existing market is in a really poor condition and the number of traders has been dwindling for a very long time, so we have been working hard to identify a new site which will 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 now we’ve taken back control of them.”

Liverpool City Council’s cabinet will meet on Friday to approve the appointment of a contractor. Subject to planning approval, it is expected that construction of the new market could start by the end of the year and open in September 2017.

The cost of borrowing for the build of the new market will be paid for through rental income from the relocated market traders.

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