LCA hired for development job

The Covent Garden Market Authority, the body responsible for the sprawling wholesale bazaar in west London, has drafted in London Communications Agency to advise on comms ­surrounding its planned ­redevelopment.

The corporation, which owns the 56-acre site in ­Vauxhall, is striving to ‘secure the market's long-term future'. It has around 250 companies on site employing more than 2,500 people.

The New Covent Garden Market  - so-called because it transferred directly from its previous West-End location in the 1970s - supplies the top hotels and restaurants in the capital and beyond.

But the 250 traders have outgrown the site, which ­requires redevelopment as ‘its ageing infrastructure no longer meets trader or customer requirements'.

The market authority denied that its hire of LCA was linked with mayor Ken Livingstone's review of the ‘future' of the capital's wholesale markets.

‘There is a lot of land tied up on the site that is government-owned and Ken wants to see what he can do with it. The fact that this is happening at the same time as our brief is awarded is coincid­ental,' said account manager Susie Lawrence.

The authority, which is part of the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, plans to carry out an extensive consultation exercise with traders to assess their needs and potential plans for expansion, said Lawrence.

The market authority's chief executive, Jan Lloyd, said: ‘LCA will support us and be a key part of the project team as we move forward with the redevelopment project.

‘LCA will be working with us on stakeholder consultation to assess the needs of those working at the site, those ­visiting the site, and our neighbours.'

Other sites affected by Livingstone's review of the capital's wholesale markets include Billingsgate (which specialises in fish), Smithfield (famed for its selection of meats) and New Spitalfields (which specialises in the provision of exotic fruits and vegetables from across the globe).

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