01 April 1999
New Covent Garden reprieved

THE government has abandoned plans to sell New Covent Garden market in London in the face of opposition from traders and local authorities.

Agriculture Minister Nick Brown will announce today (Thursday) that the market will continue to operate under its present financial arrangements.

Leaseholders, who sell fruit, vegetables and flowers, will be offered renewal of their licences.

The Ministry of Agriculture had expected to raise between £45 million and £50m from selling the site at Nine Elms.

It still expects to realise some cash from disposing of surplus land at the site.