BAVERN looking at prospects

Some vendors in the city are hoping to get their share of the spoils as Bridgetown Market is moved from the Mighty Grynner Highway to four areas in the country’s capital.

Chief executive officer of the National Cultural Foundation, Carol Roberts, announced two Fridays ago that the Crop Over event will now take place in Independence Square, Golden Square Freedom Park, National Heroes Square and Jubilee Gardens.

The change was said to be in response to environmental difficulties with the staging of Bridgetown Market in its traditional format on the highway.

President of the Barbados Association of Retailers, Vendors and Entrepreneurs, Alister Alexander said last Tuesday a meeting with his committee will be held as they look to explore the options available from the change.

Vendors in Bridgetown say they are hoping to cash in on the move.

“It will bring more people here, so I think it’s a good idea, getting more people into the area. Everybody should have an advantage,” said Tyson Greenidge, a vendor in Jubilee Gardens.

Henderson Cox was fully behind the move but said vendors needed a better briefing on plans for Bridgetown Market.

“They’re going to have multiple places, so when are they doing this – all at once or different places? That’s what I was wondering and would like to be clarified. We want to know if it’s one market day, two market days, if it’s happening all at once. This is my beef with that. I feel it’s a good thing so long as you can get the same crowd moving around,” he told a Nation team.

Patsy Adams said she is backing any idea that will draw more patrons and improve the daily operations in the Gardens, but wants the area outfitted with more facilities such as running water and washrooms.

“They lock off the pipe because the vagrants left the pipe running a lot. We don’t have a washroom. If you gotta go [use the bathroom] you gotta go KFC, Chefette or head to the back of the market,” she said.

Vendors plying their trade outside the Granville Williams Bus Terminal on Fairchild Street had mixed feelings on the matter.

Alicia Royal and Ena Walters said Bridgetown Market should not only be shifted to The City this year but also in 2025.

Sandra Finlay said while she will keep an open mind, there should be better provisions for the original vendors given that the Village Market at Fairchild Street was not the most viable option.

“It is a waste of time, you get no sales over there, and the way that they built it they should have built an open market that everybody could fit in. Now you close up, some to the front, some to the back; you got no business and there are no activities.”

Cynthia Barker said some provision should be made for those vendors who have been stuck in that area for so long.

“It’s an injustice to us out here. We scatter out here like sheep, now you bringing people and put in here. It’s [an] injustice for the vendors out here – we are always out here and we should get first preference. Find somewhere and put us,” Barker said.

The long-time vendor, who previously lobbied for a spot in the Fairchild Street market, said she was denied it due to a lack of space.

She questioned why Golden Square could accommodate Bridgetown Market vendors but not them.

“I suffer, they can’t find space to put us, but they going to find space to bring other people and put them out there to sell,” she lamented.

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