Russells on site at New Smithfield Market

Russells Construction is revamping part of the region’s biggest wholesale market.

The Trafford-based contractor was awarded the contract to build a new £4.2 million fish market hall at New Smithfield Market in Openshaw by Manchester City Council. The Russells team has undertaken groundworks on land adjoining the existing market hall, and is in the process of  constructing the new facility, which is due to be completed by January 2016.

The project, designed by GDLodge architects, includes the construction of a new 37,670 sq ft portal-framed building, comprising 10 joined but separate units for tenants, as well as loading areas, specialist chiller and freezer rooms, and ancillary office space.

The work is being carried out while the market remains open to the public and traders continue to operate in the existing fish market building. Once the new facility has been completed, Russells will also demolish the old building and use the space to create new car parking and circulation areas.

Andrew Russell, director at Russells Construction said:

“It is important for the traders to continue operating as normal and we will draw on our experience of working at New Smithfield market before and other similar schemes to ensure we work efficiently in a live environment with constricted space.

“Each of the new units is tailored to meet the individual needs of the traders, so the size, layout, floors, drainage and partitions all differ, as do the temperature requirements. As the fish is delivered fresh every morning and is packed in salt, the floors and drainage are particularly important to ensure that the salt is properly washed away to avoid corrosion.”

Councillor Rosa Battle, executive member for culture and leisure for Manchester City Council, added:

“The investment in the new fish market forms a vital part of the wider £8.5 million upgrade to New Smithfield Market. It will provide the traders with high quality, modern facilities, suited to each of their needs, ensuring that the market can continue to thrive.”

New Smithfield Market opened in the Northern Quarter in 1872 but moved to its current Openshaw site 100 years later. Russells was responsible for the construction of a new 18,500 sq ft temperature-controlled warehouse facility at the site for Manchester Wholesale Flowers in 1998.

The contractor has developed a specialism in provision of large-scale cold storage facilities through its work with frozen food specialist distributor the Yearsley Group over the last decade.