Birmingham's historic markets 'saved' by redevelopment plans

image captionTraders welcomed the plans for redevelopment of Birmingham's Indoor and Outdoor Markets

Two Birmingham markets will remain in the city, the council has confirmed.

Traders at the Bullring indoor and outdoor markets feared their stalls would be moved out in light of plans to relocate the Wholesale Market.

But deputy council leader Ian Ward said the two markets will be renovated later this year and be the centrepiece of an extended city centre around the Bullring area.

Mr Ward said the improved markets will be a "big asset to the city".

In March, news that the nearby Wholesale Market would relocate to either Washwood Heath or Witton in 2016 caused a wave of protest from shoppers and traders.

City councillors said the authority "simply cannot afford the investment needed" to maintain the site.

Dave Everett, from the Bullring Traders' Association, said: "This assurance from Mr Ward is a huge breakthrough for us, and saves Birmingham's Indoor and Outdoor markets for generations to come.

"Until now we were not certain of the fate of these venues."

'Great opportunity'

The renovation plans are part of the ongoing £10bn Big City Plan, the council said.

The Big City Plan is the council's 20-year plan to revitalise and expand the city centre. The authority is yet to reveal exactly how much will be spent on the market's renovation.

Mr Ward said: "There is a budget for general improvements to the area later this year.

"This would include dealing with problems such as lighting, roof drainage, access."

The entire market area around Edgbaston Street will then see further redevelopment in 2016, when the Wholesale Market relocates.

"With the extension of the Bullring area down towards the current Wholesale Market site, a much bigger footfall will travel through the markets," Mr Ward added.

"This really is a great opportunity for the traders, and for the city."

The two markets have been a feature of the city for 800 years, and have been in their current location for 15 years.

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