The new facility will cater for up to 700 vendors and will have improved security features for both vendors and shoppers.
The project funding is from a partnership between the governments of Australia who provided K13 million, New Zealand put up K11 million and the West New Britain Provincial Government contributed K5 million from its PSIP funds.
Beginning today, the fresh produce vendors will be moved to the concrete area in between the Muthuvel Stadium and the main highway, while arts and crafts vendors go to Kisere and use the lawn between the shops and Telikom office.
These will be the designated vendor areas for the next year during construction.
Ward 7 Member, Nick Tupi and President of Market Vendors Association, Vince Marinduo informed vendors of the changes.
Mr Marinduo said with the new designated areas, it would make moving around to inspect her vendors a challenge.
“Right now all the vendor are together, making it easy for me to move around and ensure that the vendors are safe and secure and their sales are going well,” he said.
Mr Marinduo also expressed concerns at the limited space available to vendors in the new designated areas.
“The change will affect the supply chain to the vendors at the market, especially for vendors coming from as far as Kandrian and Gloucester, including Kaliai and Kove. The move
“The vendors here, including myself are all very sorry to let the old market go. It has been feeding us for the past years and it saddens us to let it go. But, at the same time, we are also filled with joy to welcome the new market that will cater to us for many more years into the future.”
She added that the vendors have yet to remove their umbrellas and canopies as they are waiting for their market benches and canopies to be built by the Rabaul Metal Industries to be used in the new designated area.
The winning bidder for construction is expected to be announced shortly.