The City of Melbourne has welcomed a decision by Heritage Victoria to grant approval for critical new facilities at Queen Victoria Market, which will create hundreds of jobs and help secure the market’s future.
Lord Mayor Sally Capp said the City of Melbourne is investing in infrastructure on Queen Street that will deliver essential services for traders and upgraded facilities for all market workers, shoppers and visitors.
“I am very pleased that Heritage Victoria has approved plans for new facilities that will deliver significant safety, efficiency and sustainability improvements while retaining the market’s unique character,” the Lord Mayor said.
“The renewal of the Queen Victoria Market precinct is an important project in Melbourne’s economic recovery from COVID-19, creating hundreds of jobs and helping small businesses to innovate and grow.
“Now, more than ever, we need to deliver this significant project that will protect this important National Heritage listed site and ensure Melbourne’s top visitor attraction is ready to welcome visitors back.”
The Lord Mayor said the proposed facilities will include new logistics, storage, waste and recycling facilities, customer toilets and dedicated trader toilets, showers and meeting rooms for the market’s 2000-strong workforce.
“Our renewal of the Queen Victoria Market is about protecting everything that Melburnians love about the market while ensuring it is a safe, sustainable and efficient place to operate for more than 600 small businesses,” the Lord Mayor said.
“These improvements will deliver on customer expectations by reducing the market’s environmental footprint and creating a safer, family-friendly pedestrian space on Queen Street during market hours, better activating and connecting the upper and lower markets.”
Heritage Victoria has granted a heritage permit for a new Trader Shed, which will replace the current meat and seafood delivery dock built in the 1980s, with loading docks, a four-level basement with climate-controlled storage and improved waste and recycling facilities.
Following feedback from Heritage Victoria, the original building design was modified to ensure the proposed building better complements the market’s heritage character and provides more facilities for customers and traders.
A heritage permit was also granted for the Northern Shed basement at the northern end of Queen Street to house centralised waste and recycling facilities for the entire market, along with segregated loading facilities at ground level and streetscape improvements. The proposed canopy structure designed to cover the loading area has not been supported by Heritage Victoria.
The Lord Mayor said she was committed to ensuring major infrastructure projects were delivered to create jobs now and build a better Melbourne.
“In the 2020-21 financial year, $45 million is being invested in the renewal of the market precinct, with several key projects well progressed,” the Lord Mayor said.
“This includes the Munro development, which will deliver a new customer car park, community facilities and affordable housing, the most significant restoration of the market’s historic sheds in more than 40 years and the creation of 1.75 hectares of new open space for local residents and visitors to enjoy.
“These important projects are creating 500 new building and construction jobs from our investment in the market precinct.”
Planning applications for the new facilities have been lodged with City of Melbourne as the Responsible Authority, with plans set to be considered at a Future Melbourne Committee meeting next year. Subject to approvals, further work will be undertaken with traders on detailed design and operations with staged works expected to commence next year and facilities to be operational in 2024.