Design plans have been revealed for a $35 million investment into upgrading essential services and safety at the Queen Victoria Market in Melbourne.
Economic analysis conducted in December 2019 found inadequate and outdated facilities compromised the market’s security, safety and compliance with occupational health and safety and food safety regulations.
Two new proposed facilities will allow the market’s more than 600 traders to run their businesses more efficiently, taking care to preserve the traditions and theatre of the market.
Lord Mayor Sally Capp said the City of Melbourne’s top priority is to protect everything that shoppers and traders find great about the market.
“The market’s 2000-strong workforce currently does not have any dedicated facilities and the market is struggling to meet modern health and safety standards,” she said.
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“The upgrades will improve logistics, storage, waste and recycling facilities and will deliver new toilets, showers and meeting rooms for workers at the market.
“Independent research clearly shows the market needs significant investment in new infrastructure to meet modern standards. This was also a key recommendation from the 2019 People’s Panel, which included traders.”
Capp said the current meat and seafood delivery building, built in the 1980s, will be redeveloped into a new Trader Shed with dedicated loading docks, a three-level basement with climate-controlled storage and improved waste and recycling facilities.
In addition to the Trader Shed, a canopy structure called the Northern Shed is proposed for the northern end of Queen Street. This will provide an undercover loading dock during delivery times as well as centralised waste and recycling facilities for the market.
“Both structures have been designed to complement the market’s wonderful heritage sheds and buildings,” Capp said.
“During busy market hours, the area of the market in Queen Street is set to be transformed into a more welcoming space that is safer for pedestrians – and families – and that improves the connection between the upper and lower market.”
The City of Melbourne has submitted planning and heritage applications to the responsible authorities.
Subject to approvals, further detailed design and operations with staged works are expected to commence in 2021, with facilities to be operational by 2024.