The City of Melbourne has announced a million dollar revamp for Melbourne’s iconic Queen Victoria Market (QVM).
Premier Denis Napthine joined Lord Mayor Robert Doyle to make the announcement to deliver a revitalised market model that will support retail growth and showcase sustainability with a focus on public space.
“The renewal of the market presents a once in a century opportunity to create a world class market precinct,” said Doyle. “Investing now will ensure that the Queen Victoria Market is part of our city forever. We want to preserve and celebrate the market’s iconic features while retaining affordability and ensuring the market is competitive in a changing retail environment.”
The project has been driven by trade concerns and brings an opportunity to boost retail “three fold,” Doyle said. The renewal could cost up to $250 million and would be the City of Melbourne’s largest investment in a project to date.
The plan reveals a significant expansion including key upgrades, new public spaces, essential infrastructure for traders, event spaces and pedestrian access.
“We have an invaluable opportunity to create dynamic spaces for events and activities, bringing new vitality to the market precinct, particularly at night and outside current hours of operation,” Doyle said.
The Lord Mayor also welcomed the decision by the Victorian Government to enable the extension of the market precinct by transferring Crown land located at the southern end of the market to The City of Melbourne. This transfer of land will enable commercial development opportunities and will see funds secured through the development of the land reinvested into the QVM project.
The project is also set to generate 9,000 new jobs at the market, 12,000 jobs in the surrounding precinct and thousands of construction jobs.
Along with generating employment for the CBD’s northern fringe, the site is set to be a community focal point for the growing area, where tourism is set to reach 17 million annual visitors by 2031 according to Napthine.
Population in the area is also set to soar with Doyle revealing that in the next 20 years, the number of people living within 800 metres of QVM will almost double from 67,000 to 128,000.
In a bid to preserve the history of the site, the City of Melbourne will also seek UNESCO World Heritage designation for the QVM following the renewal. The market, which first opened in 1878, would join the Royal Exhibition Centre and Sydney Opera House also on the list.
The plans for the market and surrounding precinct would be developed over the next two years with the renewal project phased in over the next decade.
The City of Melbourne will also seek community engagement throughout the process and the market will stay open for business during this time.