Tue | Mar 31, 2020

Vendors moving into new Falmouth craft market

Published:Wednesday | June 6, 2018 | 12:00 AMLeon Jackson/Gleaner Writer
The new Falmouth market
Collen Gager

Western Bureau:

After initially refusing to occupy the new craft market, constructed by the Port Authority of Jamaica (PAJ) on Seaboard Street in Falmouth, Trelawny, craft vendors have belatedly decided to move into the facility, ending the dispute that had tourism stakeholders nervous.

The 31 craft traders had initially refused to move into the facility because, according to them, enough consideration was not given to their comfort. Since then, some of their concerns have been addressed, paving the way for their change of heart.

PAJ official Kim Stiff told The Gleaner that the conditions at the new facility were of a very high standard and should prove quite comfortable.

"The new stalls are of superior quality and of the highest standards," said Stiff. "The design is set to meet the different requirements of the traders. Some are enclosed shops while others are in the open. The overall construction will be in three phases."

With the vendors now occupying the new craft market, Mayor of Falmouth Collen Gager said that he was "waiting to see if the traders are going to refuse to pay the fees, as they did when the municipality was in charge".

In response to the mayor concern, craft trader Daisy Watson said that once they are getting customers, they would be happy to pay the required fees.

"I am happy for the relocation. If the Port Authority lives up to their promise and sends guests to us, then we will be able to pay the fees and make a profit," said Watson, in an interview with The Gleaner.

However, Linval Brown, another of the 31 craft vendors who occupy one of the enclosed shops, for which the fee is $20,000 per month, has no plans to get into any dispute with the PAJ if the venture does not prove viable.

"If I can't make it, I will just give them back their shop and look for something else to do," said Brown.