Smithfield announces new 15-year lease

A new 15-year lease was the topic of delight among attendees of the Smithfield Market Tenant’s Association (SMTA) breakfast yesterday.

The SMTA was entertaining the Right Honourable Lord Mayor Alderman Roger Gifford, who had toured the market before breakfast.

Speaking after the breakfast SMTA chairman Greg Lawrence addressed Lord Mayor Gifford and the hall and explained that the visit was the highlight of the association’s year. He explained that the Lord Mayor had come at a time of abated “intense pressure” for the tenants “as we have negotiated a new 15-year lease”.

“We are now able to look forward with renewed confidence,” he said. “There are still many challenges at the end; Cross Rail works in the area have meant closures, but people have worked with us to ensure the disruptions are minimised.”

A new lease has been a grey issue for the market for the last four years, since the last lease ended in 2009. However, work on the Cross Rail line, which is to stretch from the south-west of London to the north-east, is disruptive to the area around Smithfield and also causing issues for the market.
Lawrence also highlighted the SMTA’s disappointment that the West Poultry Market had been closed for 14 years, despite officials promising it would stay closed for just six months while repairs were carried out.

Meanwhile, looking to the future, Lawrence urged Smithfield Market tenants to remain strong and said: “Without the support of the Smithfield Market tenants, nothing would be achieved. The City has a profound duty to protect Smithfield Market.”
Lord Mayor Gifford concluded in his address: “It was very good to see the market and hear the news [about the new lease]. Hats off to everyone in the negotiations and to all those who worked on them. It was a shared commitment on all sides.”


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