More than 24 vendors will be occupying the newly rebuilt Hopewell Market in Hanover, which was officially opened on Thursday (June 23), by the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Hon. Desmond McKenzie.
The modern facility, constructed at a cost of approximately $23 million, replaces the old market that had fallen into disrepair. The rebuilt structure boasts new stalls, fish and meat areas, storage, bathrooms and other amenities to enhance the experience of vendors and buyers. It will serve a population of some 6,000 people who live in and around the township. A mural was painted on the walls of the market as part of the Ministry’s national beautification initiative, ‘Paint the City, Paint the Town’.
Honourable Desmond McKenzie
In his address, Mr McKenzie said the Government recognises the importance of markets as the centre of commerce in rural towns and, as such, has been rehabilitating facilities across the island. “Since 2016, the Government, led by Prime Minister Andrew Holness, has spent quite a lot on markets across the country,” said Mr McKenzie.
“We built a brand-new market in Port Maria at a cost of over $60 million. We built a brand-new market in Falmouth in Trelawny. This market in Hopewell was not renovated, but instead, we built an entirely new market for the vendors and the residents,” he noted.
The Minister said work on the Hopewell Market was completed within budget and took into consideration the recommendations of vendors, who were engaged prior to and during the construction. He urged the vendors, that in addition to protecting the infrastructure, they should also ensure that they pay their market fees.
“Understand that the market fees are what you use to maintain the place. More people will be employed now. So, you have bathrooms, you need attendants, you have a new facility, you need to have security. The place needs to be kept clean, so it means new persons have to be employed,” Mr McKenzie pointed out.
He noted that the Government, since 2016, has spent more than $700 million to carry out various improvements in Hanover. “We made a commitment to deliver and that is what we are delivering,” Minister McKenzie said.