Sunday 26 July 2015

Enhancing The Top End

The north-west corner of the market, bordered by Peel St. Victoria St. and F Shed is to be given a makeover in a new plan presented to traders this week.

Sheds A and C have already been the subject of a makeover particularly on weekends with the introduction of some new specialty markets. These markets are seen as part of the "market of markets" concept aired in the renewal project and, although it is early days, existing traders have found some positives in the buzz they create.

The makeover will involve some changes in F shed and A shed with the top sector of F Shed becoming a secondary food court/eating precinct.  E shed through to the F shed lane way will be devoted to seating areas with the addition of some new food stalls on the north side of E shed.  Those new stalls will be drawn at least partly from existing market traders and will emphasise a drinks/dessert offer. The vacant shop at the top of F shed is to become a coffee facility complete with coffee roaster.

A shed will also undergo a transformation with Fruit & Vegetable traders moving from the North side of A shed over to vacant positions on the South side of A shed or the adjoining F&V aisles. This will leave an open area adjacent to the Victoria St. shops and the opportunity to enhance the presentation of specialty markets or community based activities in that area. Importantly it will remove the back-of-house activities (forklifts, pallets, waste) from the Victoria St./A shed Laneway and make this a safer and more attractive environment for customers.

These changes will be supported by bunting and other decorative elements around the sheds and along Peel St. to enhance the area and let customers know that something new is happening in the top end. Shop signage is to be updated and renewed and in F shed a fresh coat of paint and new lighting will enhance the appearance.

As with any major change at the market there will be some disruption for a group of traders. Those who currently operate on the north side of E shed will need to be relocated. Some of those traders where moved in the initial creation of seating areas and unfortunately are being asked to move again. Trader Representatives have impressed on management that considered consultation will be necessary to ensure that affected traders are given suitable options. We understand that those options could include activating areas like L shed that currently don’t trade on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

The top end makeover has only just been announced and there will be much detail to consider over coming weeks. We welcome your comments.