Ilford – VIJAY SHAH via ELLENA CRUSE and Ilford Recorder
A new covered market is planned for Ilford in the next few years at the site of the car park near the High Road and the Kenneth More Theatre in the town’s centre. Now, the official planning application for the market suggests that it will be a large one, with an expected 800-person capacity, according to material seen by local paper, the Ilford Recorder.
The 800-person capacity refers not to the amount of traders that will be operating in the market, but the maximum number of shoppers the market will be able to contain. The figure was released by Mercato Metropolitano (MM), the firm behind the market’s potential development. MM is a London-based company specialising in the operation of community-oriented marketplaces infused with an Italian soul, and have already set up a similar market in the Elephant & Castle area of central London.
MM plan to build a temporary ‘L-shaped structure’ which will last for five years at the Redbridge Car Park, off Ilford’s Chadwick Road and close to the shopping centre. That land is currently owned by the local government body for the area, Redbridge Council.
The project will include thirty food stalls, plus an on-site craft brewery and a hydroponic farm for growing local fruits and vegetables. There are also plans for the market to have its own cookery school to train locals in food culture. The market will operate all day and offer a wide variety of cuisines and food and drink types to cater to the surrounding area’s diverse population.
A spokesperson for MM explained to the Recorder: “The retail offer will always include a cold cuts and cheese counter, a range of selected groceries, wines and liqueurs, chocolate, patisserie, bakery/boulangerie, cooking tools, flowers, fruit and vegetables,’
‘The restaurant concessions will always offer a wide variety of foods from across the world, including Neapolitan pizza, Middle Eastern concessions, Japanese, fresh pasta, Argentinean/South American grills and specialities, pan‐Asian cuisine, Italian gelato and a world‐class bar.’
‘Whilst some of the concessions may open at different times of the day, the whole operation will offer breakfast, lunch, supper and drinks together with an all‐day retail offer.”
The planning proposals submitted to the council state that the market will likely be open from 8:00 am to 11:00 pm on Sundays to Thursdays, and from 8:00 am to 12:00 am on Fridays and Saturdays only. Visitors will be expected to leave the market quietly as not to disturb the peace of residents in the area, home to many residential houses and blocks of flats.
Redbridge councillors will meet up to discuss the MM covered market proposal some time in the New Year (2019), the Ilford Recorder stated.
Ilford previously had a traditional market, Pioneer Market, which was demolished several years ago to make way for the twin towers known as Pioneer Point, which dominates the Ilford skyline.
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“Ilford covered market: Planning application proposes 800 person capacity” – Ellena Cruse, Ilford Recorder/Archant Community Media Ltd (28 December 2018) https://www.ilfordrecorder.co.uk/news/politics/sneak-peek-at-new-ilford-market-plans-1-5833238?fbclid=IwAR3MJiSJ-g9tgsN2lS3ByeLhElncBnijdF02rQEFgfH6j70hj6VO2FNeWG0
“File:Crowds shopping at Borough market, south London – geograph.org.uk – 1522109.jpg” – Andy F, geograph.org.uk via Wikipedia (2 October 2009) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Crowds_shopping_at_Borough_market,_south_London_-_geograph.org.uk_-_1522109.jpg