Ilford outdoor market plans unveiled as part of phase one of the new cultural quarter

A mock up of the covered market in Ilford. Picture: Interrobang Architecture and Engineering

A mock up of the covered market in Ilford. Picture: Interrobang Architecture and Engineering - Credit: Archant

Redbridge Council has unveiled plans for the new food market in Ilford and is asking residents to take a look.

Officers confirmed that the town centre could get a new covered market as part of a vibrant new cultural quarter, The Spark, which is due to open next year.

Should the plans be approved, food and drink from around the world will be available seven days a week and a 5,000 m² commercial space will improve business rate collections with commercial turn over increased by an estimated 25per cent.

The sustainable community Mercato Metropolitano (MM), known for its successful covered market at Elephant and Castle, will be operating Mercato Ilford.

MM is running two public consultations to give residents an opportunity to give feedback on their plans for the market, which will include a selection of international street foods, a grocery store and community focussed events.

The organisation hopes to run a “community focussed and inclusive market” and offer diverse retail and dining experiences which enables startups and food entrepreneurs to establish and grow.

Subject to receiving the necessary planning consents, the market will open on the site of Redbridge Town Hall car park, Clements Road, in Autumn, 2019.

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Council leader, Councillor Jas Athwal said: “This is a fantastic announcement to bring Mercato to Ilford and demonstrates how serious we are to rejuvenate and improve our town centre.

“Mercato will be a brilliant partner who has some great social and environmental initiatives and I look forward to seeing them deliver their high quality and diverse food and drink outlets here next year.

“I would recommend a visit to their Elephant and Castle site and hope lots of residents attend the consultation.”

The project is being funded by the Greater London Authority’s Good Growth Fund, and will also include artists’ studios and a business hub, with additional financial support being provided by Redbridge Council.

The Spark hope to not only ignite Ilford in the day but boost its night time economy as well. Speaking to the Recorder previously, Cllr Athwal said: “We will directly create over 150 new jobs within four years, with a minimum 44 work placement opportunities for the borough’s young people.

“We are creating a step by step change for Redbridge and creating the conditions for the local economy to thrive, including new jobs and business start-ups all underpinned with a business support offer.

“We are reclaiming the town centre for resident.”

To find out more about Mercato Ilford go along to the public consultation on Thursday November 22 from 4pm to 7pm or on Saturday November 24 from 10am to 12n oon at Redbridge Central Library, Clements Road, Ilford.

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