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Henderson Group Begins £160M Plans for Smith

In the late 19th Century Smithfield’s Market was built by Victorian architect Horace Jones. The market is part of Clerkenwell’s Victorian heritage, once one of the major wholesale markets in central London alongside the old Covent Garden Market and Billingsgate, which have since relocated to (slightly) greener pastures in (slightly) less central zones. The Smithfield meat market on Charterhouse Street remains to this day as it was originally intended after it begun over 800 years ago, opening from 4am every day until 12 noon to sell fresh meat to inner city communities, shops and restaurants. The rest of Smithfield’s historic market has had a few setbacks in its time, not to mention being hit by a V-2 rocket in the Second World War, followed by a fire destroying the poultry market in 1958. Though it was rebuilt the buildings gradually fell into disuse, this included the General Market (completed in 1883) and the adjacent Fish Market and Red House buildings (completed around 1898) have been facing the threat of demolition since 2005 since these parts of the market have not been in use since the 70's. Developers Thornfield Properties had plans to demolish the market in favour of building a seven storey office block. These plans were stopped by a number of campaign groups including English Heritage and Save British Heritage, in March 2005, then culture secretary Tessa Jowell labelled the Red House Cold Store as a Grade II listed building and for several years following a number of attempted development plans were halted as the market was considered to be a ‘significant contribution’ to Clerkenwell and Farringdon. In October 2012 a new plan was developed to boost the area and its potential, while simultaneously maintaining the historic Victorian building. The plan was developed by fund manager Henderson who bought the disused buildings out of administration in 2010, revealing a £160M plan to revamp the site and introducing 230,000 sq ft of retail and restaurant outlets to the undeveloped area on the western side of Smithfield. In partnership with architects John McAslan and partners, the company plans to erect a trio of steel and glass blocks in the centre of the old market and create a piazza in the process. Geoff Harris, Director of Property Development at Henderson stated: “Our proposals for the revitalisation of Smithfield Quarter will enhance the public amenity, infrastructure and physical structure at the heart of Smithfield and will preserve its historic character in a modern and informal fashion.” The plans for the Smithfield Market tie in with rumours that Goldman Sachs have bought a £1bn new office nearby, as well as the confirmation that Boris Johnson has granted permission for the redevelopment of the Fruit & Wool Exchange in Spitalfields. This also follows the destruction of an unlisted early 20th Century building called Smithfield House and a shop titled Edmund Martin Ltd in favour of the extensive new transport link Crossrail which will connect several central stations (including Farringdon, Paddington and Tottenham Court Road) and will open in 2018.

In the late 19th Century Smithfield’s Market was built by Victorian architect Horace Jones. The market is part of Clerkenwell’s Victorian heritage, once one of the major wholesale markets in central London alongside the old Covent Garden Market and Billingsgate, which have since relocated to (slightly) greener pastures in (slightly) less central zones.

The Smithfield meat market on Charterhouse Street remains to this day as it was originally intended after it begun over 800 years ago, opening from 4am every day until 12 noon to sell fresh meat to inner city communities, shops and restaurants.

The rest of Smithfield’s historic market has had a few setbacks in its time, not to mention being hit by a V-2 rocket in the Second World War, followed by a fire destroying the poultry market in 1958. Though it was rebuilt the buildings gradually fell into disuse, this included the General Market (completed in 1883) and the adjacent Fish Market and Red House buildings (completed around 1898) have been facing the threat of demolition since 2005 since these parts of the market have not been in use since the 70's. Developers Thornfield Properties had plans to demolish the market in favour of building a seven storey office block.

These plans were stopped by a number of campaign groups including English Heritage and Save British Heritage, in March 2005, then culture secretary Tessa Jowell labelled the Red House Cold Store as a Grade II listed building and for several years following a number of attempted development plans were halted as the market was considered to be a ‘significant contribution’ to Clerkenwell and Farringdon.

In October 2012 a new plan was developed to boost the area and its potential, while simultaneously maintaining the historic Victorian building. The plan was developed by fund manager Henderson who bought the disused buildings out of administration in 2010, revealing a £160M plan to revamp the site and introducing 230,000 sq ft of retail and restaurant outlets to the undeveloped area on the western side of Smithfield.

In partnership with architects John McAslan and partners, the company plans to erect a trio of steel and glass blocks in the centre of the old market and create a piazza in the process. Geoff Harris, Director of Property Development at Henderson stated: “Our proposals for the revitalisation of Smithfield Quarter will enhance the public amenity, infrastructure and physical structure at the heart of Smithfield and will preserve its historic character in a modern and informal fashion.”

The plans for the Smithfield Market tie in with rumours that Goldman Sachs have bought a £1bn new office nearby, as well as the confirmation that Boris Johnson has granted permission for the redevelopment of the Fruit & Wool Exchange in Spitalfields. This also follows the destruction of an unlisted early 20th Century building called Smithfield House and a shop titled Edmund Martin Ltd in favour of the extensive new transport link Crossrail which will connect several central stations (including Farringdon, Paddington and Tottenham Court Road) and will open in 2018.

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