Monday, August 01, 2011

Down the market

After five years of promising a future for the Birmingham wholesale market, in return for them relocating and freeing up a valuable site for development close to the city centre, last week, the city council shamefully pulled the plug on the project to relocate to a site in Witton. Apparently, they've just realised that the loss of Advantage West Midlands - which is putting staff on garden leave as I write - will cost them co-funding and they can't afford it themselves anyway.

They've promised to help the traders relocate - although the traders will now need to find their own private sector market operator to establish a site by February 2013, when the council will want the site to redevelop.

Essentially, blame for this seems to lie with the council, who have not moved fast enough to tie up the deal and secure the funding through AWM - there are a number of projects that will progress separately to the death of the regional development agency. The government aren't excused though, as they have ensured an economic environment that is entirely unsuited to this move and have cut the council budget.

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