Birmingham City Council adopted The Big City Plan on July 25th 2011. Unfortunately, for the Wholesale Markets, it falls bang in the middle, and therefore will be removed to make way for a moat. (Yes, you heard, get rid of access to cheap, but good quality, fruit and veg in a time of economic hardship to reclaim an ancient moat.) I have nothing against reclaiming local heritage, but if it puts other heritage at risk I find it a bit hard to swallow. Below is the vision of what the current site could look like – I can’t see a stall in sight.
Vision of what the site could look like
The Wholesale Market has been in dialogue with Birmingham City Council for years for a redevelopment of that area and relocation of the Wholesale Markets out of the city centre. Now, the traders are told that the market must move, but there is no funding available for this to be Council-sponsored. The traders have nowhere to move to, and no money to move, even if there were somewhere to go. The planned date for this to happen by Summer 2013.
Traders from the Wholesale market are now applying to take Birmingham City Council to Judicial Review, with the support of traders from the Bull Ring Open Market. Our aim is similar, for the Wholesale Market to remain in the city centre. For us it is vitally important if we are to keep our prices low and offer an important service to Birmingham people.
We have gained a lot of public support over the past five months and have almost 40,000 signatures on our petition. The Birmingham Mail has supported our campaign wholeheartedly, as have public figures: Carl Chinn, Glynn Purnell and, more recently, David Bailey, who has written some brilliant articles for the Birmingham Post explaining the impact the closure could have on Birmingham’s economy.
The Birmingham Markets make Birmingham unique; they are a product of over eight generations of trading people, carving a bit of public space into a vibrant community, with something for all the people who live within this city.
I, for one, would not like to see it disappear.
You can read more on our blog and please let your local councillor know how important the markets are to you.