Exciting new “green” street market in the heart of Ilford

Published: 8 July 2019

A vibrant new street market is coming to Ilford High Road next year as Redbridge Council continues the transformation of the town centre. 

A series of improvements are being rolled out which will pave the way for a new open-air market, aiming to promote superb “green” credentials in sustainability and offering the best in local street food, off-beat art from up and coming talent, a variety of other unique goods and a chance to showcase emerging start-up enterprise. 

The present privately-run outdoor market will stopped trading at the end of June to allow for planned engineering works on the High Road, and ahead of phase II of the Ilford Public Realm transformation project, which will be on site early next year. 

The project will include better infrastructure for traders and events including new lighting, paving and access to electrical power. 

A new market layout extending the length of the High Road will allow for a high-quality trading offer, all underpinned by a refreshed approach to overseeing trading operations.

In the meantime, families will have access to a fun-filled programme of events starting this summer in and around the High Road, working in partnership with Vision and the Exchange. 

The move to a new and revitalised street market offer follows extensive consultation with residents and existing traders. 

The council will undertake a competitive tendering exercise asking for expressions of interest to run the new on-street market which will begin operating following phased completion of public realm works next Spring. 

It will complement the council’s transformation of Ilford, which will be kickstarted by three major projects in and around the Town Hall in 2019.  

These projects, collectively known as Spark Ilford, include a community food market run by Mercarto Metropolitano, a buzzing arts hub and gallery from SPACE and artist studios and affordable workspaces delivered by Things Made Public - creating a vibrant cultural hub in the heart of Ilford.

Work is also underway to deliver the council’s longer-term masterplan for the town centre, through a coordinated programme over the coming years.

Cllr Jas Athwal, Council Leader and Cabinet Member for Leisure and Growth said: “I’m ambitious for our borough and want to reclaim Ilford’s place at the heart of a modern east London.  Spark Ilford will kickstart the transformation of the town centre with art, enterprise, food and culture.  The new street market will complement Spark by taking the shopping experience on the High Road itself to a new level.  We are determined to deliver the very best for our residents and I’m really looking forward to the new street market launching and the array of stalls it will bring.”

Speaking about the longer-term plans for the town centre, Cllr Athwal added: “This council is determined to deliver the facilities, including a pool, our community deserve.  For too long Ilford has been neglected and now I am working to deliver a brand-new theatre, leisure facilities, incorporating a swimming pool and bigger and better library all our residents can enjoy. The council will be using its own land holdings around the Town Hall to kick start things over the next year with the Spark and will follow this with the redevelopment of the Kenneth More Theatre into an ‘everything centre’ – with up to four times the footprint of the existing theatre.” 

To find out more about the future of Ilford, go to our feature in the new edition of Redbridge Life.

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