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First butchers at Smithfield vision

Public to have their say on proposals for redevelopment of historic Victorian meat market

14 August, 2020 — By Calum Fraser

An artist’s impression of the Grand Avenue looking south

THIS is the first look at how the site of the Smithfield’s Meat Market could be transformed.

The floor of its Grand Avenue could be removed revealing a basement level to the general public for “the first time in history” as owners, the City of London Corporation, published its latest plans for the historic Farringdon site.

Now the public will have an opportunity to have their say on the redevelopment proposals.

The plans are part of a wider scheme where the current meat traders could be evicted and moved to a new 42-acre site in Dagenham to be shared with the New Spitalfields and Billingsgate traders.

The Museum of London was given the green light to move into one part of the Smithfield site in June in a £337million project.

The Rotunda

The latest consultation and drawings relate to the East and West Market buildings and the Grade II-listed Rotunda.

A City spokeswoman said: “A core theme is sustainable food production, preparation and consumption all under one roof, as well as the creation of flexible halls that could support the creative industries.”

Architects Studio Egret West have provided early concept drawings that propose the removal of the loading bays, canopy, and cold rooms to create four large areas under the “oversailing roof”.

The spokeswoman added: “One of the newly exposed four halls could even house a sound-proofed multi-media entertainment space for local performances and cultural acts throughout the year, alongside independent food and drink kiosks – offering spaces for local start-ups and micro industries to develop and grow.

The Grand Avenue food production area

“Strikingly, the early ideas would also see part of the floor of the Grand Avenue removed to connect the building above with the basement levels below, revealing these spaces to the general public for the first time in their history. This would create a wonderful sequence of spaces for all to enjoy as you descend down to a new ‘Lower Grand Avenue’, through the cavernous basement spaces, and out through the unparalleled Rotunda, which could in itself be an all-seasons garden experience.”

Members of the public have until September 4 to comment on the scheme, to do so visit

In order to move Smithfield to Dagenham Dock a further Private Bill needs to be passed by the corporation.

A further iteration of the Smithfield concept designs will be submitted as part of that process later this year.­

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