herald

Wednesday 13 December 2017

New €3m Smithfield market 'must not just serve elite'

Smithfield plans
Smithfield plans

A €3m revamp of a north Dublin inner-city market must not be "just for the middle class," a report to Dublin City Council has warned.

Dubbed Dublin's answer to Covent Garden, a new artisan food hall is being planned to occupy the revamped Victorian fruit and vegetable market in Smithfield.

The new facility should not become a destination solely for the capital's "elite", though, the expert report commissioned by the council warns.

DCC assistant CEO Jim Keogan last week issued the draft charter for the market and the comprehensive report on its operation to city councillors.

He said that the charter had been prepared following this report by an "expert retail consultant."

"Make sure that the Dublin market doesn't become an elite place just for the middle class, and has a mix of everyday products so that people from all walks of life can shop at it," the report to the council states.

Other advice in the report includes: "It must have a social element to it, it must stock the cheaper foods and be accessible to all points."

The old Victorian market is located off Capel Street and the council has set approximately €3m aside for its regeneration.

Demand

Previously, the exact nature of the market was unclear but Mr Keogan last week stated that its focus was on the "weekly shop for fresh produce," as well as on the "local demand for lunch and takeaway food."

The draft charter sets out for the first time exactly how the new market will operate. There will be five types of retail spaces including, "permanent units," tables and "incubator spaces for start-ups and community projects". Primary goods the council wants to see on sale include eggs, meat, fish, free-range poultry, cured meat, seafood, fruit, vegetables and a variety of dairy products.

While there is no official opening date for it, Mr Keogan said last March that it would begin operating in September 2015.

hnews@herald.ie

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