* The £160 million makeover will restore the market's listed Victorian exterior but sweep away the interior halls, replacing them with an internal public piazza below glass-clad office blocks
*The 2018 opening of Crossrail brings another advantage to new homes in the area with several station entrances to be built around the market
Historic Smithfield Market is set to follow the markets at Spitalfields and Borough as the Hart's Corner western end of the complex is set for a spectacular modern makeover that will bring a new “artisan” food quarter, boutiques and offices, and boost a central district that was hitherto off the radar of homebuyers and tourists.
Despite the passionate battle fought by conservation groups with big-name stars joining in, City planners have given approval for a £160 million revamp that will restore the market’s listed Victorian perimeter buildings but sweep away its market halls with their prized ironwork and vaulted roofs, replacing them with an internal public piazza below glass-clad office blocks — described as “pavilions”.
Known as Smithfield Quarter, the scheme is expected to be complete by 2018 to coincide with the opening of the neighbouring Crossrail station at Farringdon, which will be one of the capital’s key transport hubs and is due for a dramatic sevenfold increase in passengers.
The two projects are tipped to transform a commercial zone that has been part-derelict for at least a decade, yet which has been urban since the Middle Ages, with a colourful and lively history of supplying food to Londoners for 1,000 years.
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