ALBURY’S popular Rotary market has been cancelled for the next two Sundays but will probably move to the Wilson Street car park for about a year.
Work on the new Quest Apartments project has prompted the closure of the open and undercover sections of what used to be the taxation office car park — the market venue since August 1996.
Occupation health and safety issues ruled out allowing the market on any part of a major building site.
Urgent talks between city council officers and the Rotary clubs of Albury North and Belvoir- Wodonga have been held this week to find a new home for a market that raises $160,000 a year for charities and community groups.
Site owner John Colquhoun has allowed the two clubs to jointly operate the markets free of charge for more than 16 years.
Mr Colquhoun and the builders had sought to retain the market but WorkCover advised this was not possible.
Several months ago the market suffered a setback when the adjoining council-owned “gasworks” car park was closed for remediation works which meant stallholders and customers had to park in neighbouring streets or the Volt Lane car park some distance from the stalls.
Albury North club president Mark Smith said that city officers had worked hard to find a solution.
“We get an average 2100 adults through the gates and an average 189 stallholders, though the site had the capacity for 128 stalls under cover and 100 stalls outside,” he said.
At Wilson Street, it is proposed to allow stallholders on the open-air top deck and the deck below, with parking at ground level.
Albury North club’s market director Colin Norton said if Wilson Street was confirmed it would be within 10 per cent of the size of the old market.
City director for economic development Tracey Squire said the market was a major fund-raiser for projects including the Hilltop carers accommodation project in East Albury.
“We’re investigating the suitability of relocating the market to levels one and two of the Wilson Street car park as an interim measure until a new permanent home can be found,” she said.
Ms Squire said it was hoped the market could eventually be permanently housed on the “gasworks” site once it was restored.