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New Port Maria Market officially opened

New Port Maria Market officially opened

PORT MARIA, St. Mary: Vendors and shoppers now have improved operating  and shopping experience with the official opening of the Port Maria Market.

The $66 million facility was built through funds provided by the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development.

“This market represents the fourth new market that the government of Prime Minister Andrew Holness has built since 2016…The policy of this Government is to make our markets more friendly, to make it enticing for persons to come,” said Portfolio Minister, Honourable Desmond McKenzie.

“I want to urge the vendors that it is important that they utilize the market and not just the vendors, but those who come to shop. Support those persons who are operating under orders and come into the market. It’s clean and spacious.”

He was speaking at the official opening ceremony in Port Maria on February 13.

The Minister also announced that phase two of Port Maria Market project is expected to go to tender during the 2024/2025 fiscal year.

“We’re going to go up one more floor with the market to have better shops and office space to attract more persons to come into the market. They are expecting

expecting to spend $70m on that project.”

The Ministry has responsibility for some 37 markets across the country- 31 of which are functioning.

“The government will be providing some $250m to repair and to clean sanitary facilities in all markets across Jamaica,” added Minister McKenzie.

He also used the occasion to commend the staff of the St. Mary Municipal Corporation for the efforts over the years to pursue the completion of the Port Maria Market.

The most recently constructed market was the Hopewell Market in Hanover. Meanwhile, the Annotto Bay Market in St. Mary is earmarked to receive a spend of some $70m to renovate the facility. The Highgate Market, also in the parish, was gutted by fire in July 2022.

An interim arrangement is in place for the vendors to operate from a temporary location until the replacement facility is constructed.

“I’ve spent close to some $800m in the parish of St. Mary since we became Government in 2016. All the works that we have done are living testimony to the performance of the Government,” the Minister shared.

“This is about peace, productivity, and prosperity. Productivity comes out of the market where the vendors can come and ply their trade, get more money in their pockets, and that will now create prosperity. Once the prosperity is evident, you will have peace and that is what we are all about- the productivity, the peace and prosperity St Mary.”