New Covent Garden Market in Nine Elms – the UK’s largest fruit and vegetable market – has unveiled the first phase of its £130m development which the market hope will see it become London’s dominant food hub.
The Food Exchange is a workspace, kitchen space and food culture venue that will form the first stage of the Food Quarter – a food industry campus and serious food destination. It has 40,000 sq ft of lettable space bringing together a wide range of food entrepreneurs under one roof, giving them a unique place to create, innovate and collaborate.
It will house Mission Kitchen, opening next Autumn. This will include shared kitchens and private studios, with space for over 130 businesses working in food. It will also include a cookery school for ambitious cooks and professionals, an evolving food museum, a test kitchen and an outside space which can host anything from beehives to polytunnels for growing.
Private studios are ready to rent from 1st February 2018 for all types and sizes of businesses working in food, including food magazines, photographers, producers, PR agencies, manufacturers, entrepreneurs, startups, recipe developers, stylists and writers.
Daniel Tomkinson, CEO of Covent Garden Market Authority, said: “London is already widely recognised as one of the creative and cultural capitals of the world attracting established and emerging talent from around the globe. The Food Exchange will foster exciting food entrepreneurs and nurture the innovation of new start-ups on the journey to becoming the next big force in London’s food scene. New Covent Garden Market has long been the home of pioneering enterprise and food expertise, making The Food Exchange a very natural next step in the market’s illustrious food story.”
The leader of Wandsworth Council, Ravi Govindia, said: “New Covent Garden is an enduring icon of Nine Elms and its great to see it getting even bigger and better. People are becoming increasingly interested in the provenance of their food and how it is prepared, and this is an opportunity for the people of Wandsworth and London to get closer to the food they eat.”
Over the next five years the New Covent Garden site is being transformed with the Food Quarter expected to be completed in 2024. The unveiling of the Food Exchange follows just months after the flower market moved into state-of-the-art premises in Nine Elms.