A new open-air market in George Town will soon be available to local vendors to sell homegrown products.
Work on the 6,000-square-foot building on Thomas Russell Way across the road from the Red Cross building began in December, farmer Kirkland Nixon said Wednesday. He said the farmers market will probably open in April.
“That is if we can get sufficient funds to get it finished. The big thing is fundraising and getting the money to complete the building right now,” said Hamil Stephenson, a farmer spearheading the initiative.
The market is being constructed on the site of the old Farmers Market beside the cricket oval in George Town. The old market was badly damaged in Hurricane Ivan and eventually was torn down.
The new venue under construction is estimated to cost vendors around $300,000 to construct on the site, which vendors leased from the Cayman Islands Airports Authority. Hill Construction is carrying out the building work.
According to Mr. Nixon, there will be 32 stalls under the roof, and on any given day the market should have about 20 to 30 people selling products such as patties, jams, arts and crafts, produce, meats and seafood.
“That is the dream, and it is coming along quite nicely. It also all depends on raising the funds,” Mr. Nixon said.
“The market will be open to everyone who wants to come. We will restrict no one, but there will be a first come, first served policy,” Mr. Stephenson said.
The George Town Farmers Market will operate just like Market at the Grounds in Lower Valley, with vendors selling local produce, alongside local artisans offering their arts and crafts. The market will be open six days a week.
Although the government is giving some support to the market, it is the vendors’ initiative, farmers say.
According to Mr. Stephenson, there will be a small fee for vendors to pay to help offset the cost of utilities and upkeep, which he said yet had to be determined.