Case Studies

Birmingham Wholesale Market

26 Jun 2018


Organisation: Birmingham City Council

Location: Birmingham

Project: The relocation of Birmingham’s Wholesale Market to brand new facilities in Witton, enabling the Market to remain at the heart of Greater Birmingham’s vibrant food and drink sector.

Value of Funding: £3 million of Local Growth Funding

Total project cost: £48 million

Cllr Ian Ward, Leader of Birmingham City Council, said:

"The markets continue to play a major part in Birmingham life and this is the next exciting chapter in a story that goes back almost 900 years."

"This state-of-the-art facility brings the markets firmly into the 21st century and I'd like to thank traders for working with Birmingham City Council on this project. I'm sure Birmingham’s historic Wholesale Markets and the many traders working there will now grow from strength to strength."
Chris Loughran, Deputy Chair, Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP), said:

"GBSLEP’s £3 million contribution to building a new home for Birmingham’s Wholesale Market will help to safeguard more than 600 jobs and the future of one of the largest, most historic markets of its kind in Europe."

“The move also opens up huge economic opportunities in the city centre with the former Wholesale Market site set to become Birmingham Smithfield, an exciting development in Birmingham’s Enterprise Zone that will create thousands of new jobs and long-term growth. The new scheme – which will cover 14 hectares of land – will capitalise on the city’s leisure offer, as well as its proximity to Birmingham’s future HS2 station.”

The opportunity

The project involves the relocation of the Wholesale Market to a purpose-built facility at The Hub on Nobel Way, Witton. The scheme secures the long-term future of the Wholesale Market within Birmingham by establishing a modern, fit-for-purpose facility at the heart of a wider hub for the food and drink sector.

Moving the Wholesale Market will also help to create a new retail and leisure hub in Birmingham city centre’s Enterprise Zone, called Birmingham Smithfield, which is expected to generate over 3,000 jobs in the region.

The project is a key economic driver for the GBSLEP, Birmingham City Council and Birmingham’s Enterprise Zone. It is also consistent with the priorities identified within the Greater Birmingham & Solihull Strategic Economic Plan (SEP).


The new chapter for Birmingham’s Wholesale Market began on 8 May 2018, as the traders’ new purpose-built home in Witton opened for business.

The new market includes 78 units selling fruit and vegetables, meat, poultry, fish and flowers, along with nine warehouses, café and management offices.

As one of the largest integrated wholesale market in Europe, Birmingham’s traders provide fresh produce to restaurants, hotels, fast food outlets and local retailers across the Midlands and Wales.

This represents an investment of nearly £50 million in Birmingham’s future, with the Wholesale Market acting as catalysts for the city’s economic wellbeing. Its traders play a vital role in Birmingham’s story – attracting business from across the UK and Europe.

Why does this matter?

Unlocking of development land at Birmingham Smithfield 

  • The relocation of Birmingham’s Wholesale Market has unlocked 8.5 hectares of development land, contributing substantially to the creation of:
    • 1,000 new housing units
    • A further 3,300 jobs in the local economy
  • The Smithfield project has the potential to help regenerate the wider Southern Gateway area in Birmingham city centre, which could include the development of an additional 260,000 sq m of employment space and over 5,000 new homes.
  • The new Smithfield development will provide a range of high-quality homes that will attract new residents to the area and help to retain current residents, giving the area a stronger sense of community. This will be further reinforced with better local amenities such as new restaurants, shops and leisure facilities.

Relocation of the Wholesale Market

  • The relocation of the Wholesale Market from the city centre will safeguard businesses and more than 600 jobs in the GBSLEP area.
  • The Wholesale Market will remain a key part of the local food supply chain, underpinning the local independent retail and city restaurant trade.
  • The project will lead to an improved and more efficient operating environment for local businesses