Liverpool Food Hub, Gillmoss’s £7m fruit, vegetable and flower market has been officially opened this morning.
Comprising 80,000 sq ft, the market at Stonebridge replaces the former Old Swan market off Edge Lane, which is to be redeveloped as a Merseyside Police patrol hub and repair facility.
The market, which will eventually include a café, on site parking and welfare facilities, has been built by Willmott Dixon in a construction programme that started in April 2017
This marks the latest in a series of investments in markets since Liverpool City Council reassumed control in September 2016, including a redeveloped Great Homer Street market in Everton and a £2.5m refurbishment of St John’s Market in the city centre. The council paid previous operator Geraud Markets UK a nominal £1 to take over day-to-day operations.
Lord Mayor Cllr Malcolm Kennedy – for seven years the councils cabinet member for regeneration – said: “I am delighted to be opening this brand new market, which was much needed.
“It is great news for the traders who have been waiting a long time for the creation of an attractive new development with modern facilities.”
Nearby, developer St Modwen has found some success at Stonebridge Business Park, with a 10,415 sq ft letting to Supply UK Hire Shops in January the latest in a series od deals.
Deputy mayor of Liverpool, Cllr Ann O’Byrne, said: “This move has been vital to giving the market a future – their previous home was over 50 years old and the new conditions are a world apart.
“The workers are unsung heroes whose work is done while many of us are sleeping and we were determined to make sure they found a new site so it didn’t just wither on the vine.”
The council said that the cost of borrowing for the build of the new market will be paid for through rental income from the relocated market traders.
At the Old Swan site, part of the 20-acre site will be used to rehouse the neighbouring St Cuthbert’s Catholic Primary School, while the nine acres fronting Prescot Road is allocated for housing.