The Horticulture Market has an overall area of 25300 square metres, and has a basic ‘Y’ shape. An internal roadway is displayed for buyers while deliveries are made around the perimeter of the building.
The internal roadway has a clear span of 15 metres and the depth of each stall is 28 metres including an unsecured night unloading area. There are two basic sizes of units – with frontages of either 7.2 or 5.5 metres.
The Meat Market has an overall area of 3500 square metres and comprises a two storey building with 34 Units and a central, ‘chilled buyers’ walk at ground level.
The first floor provides accommodation for storage and offices.
A trucking corridor divides the building at ground floor level, over which toilets and snack bar are located.
The fish and Poultry Market covers an area of 3000 square metres and comprises a two-storey building of 36 Units is similar in design to the Meat Market with the same layout at first floor level.
The Poultry Market has a central, air-conditioned buyer’s walk. Improvement in 1993 means the Market meets EU. Directive standard for Fish and Fishery Products and Poultry Meat.
In 1816 street commissioners purchased the old moated Manor House of the De Birmingham family and a year later opened the Smithfield Cattle Market on the site, which now forms part of the Wholesale Markets Precinct.
The Old St. Martin’s Market was used as a Wholesale Market until 1897.
The Wholesale Fish Market in Bell Street was opened in 1869 and demolished in 1958.
St. Martins Lane opened in 1883 and was divided into two sections, the larger upper part forming the Wholesale Fruit and Vegetable Market, and the lower part, bordering Moat Row was initially used as a toll market for farmers and growers and for the retail ‘Rag’ Market each Tuesday and Saturday afternoons, selling clothing, hardware and manufactured goods.
A Cattle and Pig Market opened in 1892, situated in Montague Street.
The City Meat Market and abattoir in Bradford Street opened in 1897.
Factors such as the deterioration of the old Smithfield and City meat Markets, the loss of the Fish Markets in Bell Street for the new Inner Road, and congestion of the narrow streets around the wholesale area, all led to the decision to build the present Wholesale Market complex.
In February 1974, Phase I of the scheme – the New Fish, Meat and Poultry Markets, were opened for trade, followed in 1975 by the Horticultural Market. In 1976 ancillary warehousing completed the complex.