A spanking new market at Fairchild Street, The City, will be completed by the end of November, providing much needed facilities for a growing population of vendors in the Bridgetown area.
Despite numerous setbacks caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, phase one of the $3.8 million project that will include the construction of 44 food and beverage stalls, will be completed in October while the remaining portions will be ready a month later.
This was revealed during a site visit today by the Urban Development Commission (UDC), the Markets Division of the Ministry of Agriculture, and the Barbados Association of Retailers, Vendors, and Entrepreneurs (BARVEN).
Rupert Spencer, the representative of Tower Consultants Limited which has been contracted to manage the project, noted that in addition to national shutdowns, global supply chain issues caused by the pandemic had slowed down the project.
“Some items have to be imported, like water heaters that are a part of the stall, hand dryers, and sanitary ware for the bathroom facilities. So, we’ve had some delays in the supply of these items.
“However, overall, we believe we can have this phase one completed by mid-October the latest and we are pushing to have [phase one and two] completed by November 30,” Spencer assured.
He also gave insight into phase 3 of the project, which will include spaces for seven butchers, one fishmonger, and a headquarter building for the Markets Division.
The new market will facilitate a large number of people plying their trade in Fairchild Street, as well as vendors currently located in surrounding areas like Golden Square.
BARVEN’s public relations officer Valentino Barrow expressed satisfaction with the progress thus far, noting that vendors at Fairchild Street and surrounding areas were eagerly anticipating the project’s completion.
Twenty small and medium sized contractors, six service providers, and a five-member project team have been mobilized, along with 125 employees.
The UDC’s Acting Deputy Director Sonia King said the market will feature a design consistent with Barbadian architecture, while promoting climate resilience and accommodating members of the disabled community.
“As the project progresses, the vibrance and colour will attract persons to the market village and we will hope that the Markets Division will be able to continue the maintenance of such a wonderful project,” she said. (KS)