The Core Principles of the Market:

The English Market has been serving Cork since 1788 and now, in the early years of the twenty-first century, is well established as Ireland’s most famous food emporium. The Market has evolved over time to sell a diverse range of both traditional and contemporary foods keeping pace with the City’s increasing diversity in customers and tastes.

Going forward, the challenge for Cork City Council as owner, landlord and manager of the English Market will be to ensure that this unique facility is preserved for future generations and that the traditional ethos of the Market is maintained. The Council has acknowledged the core trading principles of the Market, as well as it’s rich historical, cultural and heritage importance to the City, by adopting a policy to ensure that the tradition of open-stall trading is preserved.

Retrictions on Uses:

In order to deliver the above policy and to protect the Market’s character as a traditional municipal food market, restrictions must be placed both on the goods to be traded and on the manner in which they are to be traded. In previous years a number of businesses were established in the Market that are now viewed as being less than compatible with the general ethos of open-stall trading of natural food produce. Notwithstanding this, as the Market passes a milestone of 230 years trading, the atmosphere of traditional trading remains very strong. This strength highlights the need, insofar as is practicable, to guard against the introduction of uses and businesses that would be likely to erode or diminish the very nature of what the English Market is about. 

The traders in the Market today enjoy the benefit and security of long term leases. These leases include conditions restricting the use of the stalls and requiring the City Council’s prior permission to any change of use or to the carrying out of any physical alterations. Consent is also required by any stall-holder wishing to sell on their lease or to sub-divide their lease.

Through the application of this approval process, Cork City Council will seek to ensure insofar as is practicable that the form of retailing continues to support the Market’s core principles of traditional open-stall trading of natural, high quality food products. Accordingly, in applying these principles there will be a bias against high street or supermarket-type retailing, and a bias against the sale of pre-packaged foods or foods that have been significantly processed.   There is also currently a restriction on any further café-style stalls, and also a restriction on any further hot-food vendors.

The final decision in relation to the form of retailing for any stall and/or the nature and extent of any works to be carried out will be one for determination by Cork City Council.