Birmingham wholesale move

Birmingham City Council has agreed a plan that will allow the city's giant wholesale market in Digbeth to move to a new site nearer the edge of the city at Witton.

The Digbeth market, near the city centre, currently houses dozens of meat trade and other food related businesses and employs in excess of 1,000 people.

The new 35 acre site at Witton site near the M6, to be called The Hub, will have more than 80 meat, fish, vegetable and fruit wholesalers in a covered wholesale market complex.

The council says the current 21 acre site, opened in 1816, is no longer viable and can be better used for alternative purposes.

The council's head of markets Matt Kelly said: "The existing site is no longer fit for purpose. The new site is ready to go."

It is estimated that the move to the new site could cost in the region of £100 million. The target date for the move is 2012.

The council is considering using the vacated area for the creation of a new entertainment zone with open air markets, theatres and cafes.

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