A new home and era for the UK’s biggest and only dedicated flower market
Historic move for New Covent Garden’s Flower Market after 43 years
On Monday 3rd April, the Flower Market at New Covent Garden Market – the UK’s biggest, specialist flower and plant hall – headed for a new home. Remaining in Nine Elms, in the heart of London, it relocated half a mile down Nine Elms Lane from its existing site, affording its 21 world-class traders a more inspiring place to sell flowers. The opening hails the start of a new era for this historic market which dates back to 1670, and will ensure the wholesalers continue to flower London for many generations to come.
London’s home of flowers
The Flower Market is at the heart of the floristry industry in the capital and beyond, supplying 75% of London’s florists, from high street retailers to high-end event companies. It is a community where the lives of expert traders and creative florists are intextricably intertwined, who, together, flower London every single day. The market’s flowers dress London’s royal palaces, shops, market stalls, hotels, offices, parties, homes, weddings and funerals.
Its first incarnation was situated in Covent Garden, W1, housed in the market square from 1670 under Charles II’s reign. Then in 1974, the market moved to Nine Elms in SW8, just two miles from Mayfair, four miles from The City and just three miles from its original trading site at ‘Old’ Covent Garden. And on Monday 11th November 1974 the largest wholesale fruit, vegetable and flower market in the UK began trading on the new site.
A smart move
The new Flower Market provides a better home for buying and selling top quality flowers, plants, foliage and sundries from around the world, building on the markets unique position as the UK’s only specialist flower and plant wholesaler. The new building has been designed to give its customers a richer buying experience. Bright lights blend with natural light to make it easier to see each petal in high definition. A simpler layout creates a livelier market with a more vibrant atmosphere. The modern space provides a clean canvas that accentuates the kaleidoscopic colours of the flowers. For the traders, simple, effective logic makes the market work more smoothly and easily for them. And a conditioning system conditions the Flower Hall to a constant 14°C, the perfect temperature for storing flowers.
Pam Alexander, Chair Covent Garden Market Authority, said: “We are thrilled to be able to offer our traders and customers a better, more inspiring space to buy and sell flowers. Our wholesalers’ knowledge, expertise and relationships are the life blood of everything that goes on at the market and we’re hopeful that this new home will help them and their customers to take on new creative challenges and grow their businesses ever further.
“The Flower Market is the first new market building here at New Covent Garden Market. Over the coming five years, we are transforming the whole site into a Brand New Covent Garden Market for our 175 businesses and thousands of customers, and will be creating a new Food Quarter and food business hub for London. All the while, continuing to feed and flower London throughout.”
The market that flowers London
As the UK’s premier flower market, New Covent Garden Market houses two Royal Warrant holders supplying blooms to the countries most prestigious households. The market’s well-known customers include the The Dorchester, The Savoy, and celebrity and royal florists Simon Lycett, Shane Connolly and McQueens, supplying the likes of the BAFTAs, the V&A, Natural History Museum, St Paul’s Cathedral , and Vanity Fair. Many of the traders at the market are third or even fourth generation and these ladies and gentlemen are the thoroughbreds of the floristry world, holding an exceptional level of knowledge and expertise on flowers, plants, foliage and sundries through the decades and from around the world. The market is unrivalled when it comes to sourcing of the best quality, seasonal flowers from the UK and around the world.