Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Desmond McKenzie, has sought to assure residents of Highgate in St Mary that the ministry is continuing to work on a new design for the market in the rural town.
The Highgate Market was completely destroyed by fire on July 16, 2022, leaving shops and stalls there damaged and vendors losing millions.
Since that time, vendors have built temporary shops where the market once was, and have carried on with their livelihoods in anticipation of the reconstruction of the overall facility.
McKenzie, speaking at a handing-over ceremony for a house under the ministry’s Indigent Housing Programme in Hamilton Mountain, St Mary on Friday, said discussions have started with the relevant stakeholders in the parish about a new design for the Highgate Market.
“We have also released some funds to put in a temporary meat market in Highgate, which was burned down, and we are now working on a new design for a new-built Highgate Market, all of this under the Government of Prime Minister Andrew Holness,” he said.
McKenzie also told Port Maria Mayor, Richard Creary, that funds to complete the Port Maria Market were “released this week”.
He added that, “The stalls for the fish market and the meat market will be available shortly.
“We are working to ensure that St Mary is given its full share,” stated McKenzie.
According to him, the new Port Maria Market was built at a cost of $56 million and opened last year to accommodate all types of vendors, especially those who usually sell illegally on the streets of the parish capital.
However, further construction activities are to be done on the two-floor market structure.
It currently accommodates vendors on the ground floor, while the upper floor will have shop spaces for rent when the additional construction works are completed.