Traders fighting the closure of Birmingham Wholesale Market say they have been given the go ahead by the council to stay for three to five years on the site in the centre of the city. “We’ve still got nothing concrete, but in the past two weeks we have been told we will be here another three to five years,” Mark Tate, chairman of the market traders, told the Fresh Produce Journal.

Peter Marshall, from the Birmingham Wholesale Fresh Produce Association, also said he had been told the market was likely to continue for three to five years, but said nothing was guaranteed. “Everything is still on the table,” he said. “We are still in negotiations, whether we stay here with refurbishment is up for discussion.” Marshall said refurbishment would be needed within 12 months on the building, and traders were negotiating with the council over who would pay.

A spokeswoman for Birmingham City Council stressed no decisions about the future of the market had yet been made. “We are currently conducting detailed analysis into various options for the future of the wholesale market operation, including options proposed by traders during the consultation period. With the existing building becoming ever more outdated, relocation or redevelopment is the only option to secure the long-term future of the market operation within the city, and we’d urge traders to work with us to secure their future as quickly as possible.”

A challenge for the new administration!