Is-Suq tal-Belt, or the indoor market, was built in 1860s under British rule. Although a few businesses still operate within the market, it has for the most part been neglected over the years. The regeneration of the old market, located in the heart of Merchants Street, is long overdue. This overlooked gem deserves to be restored to its former glory – a central hub of activity.
The process of evaluation of ideas and proposals for the regeneration of the market is at an advanced stage. The regeneration takes into account the historical character of the site, so as to respect Valletta’s credentials as a World Heritage Site and as a future European Capital of Culture.
The project will take place in public private partnership and will lead to economic, social and urban regeneration. The design, composed of wrought iron of which the inner part of the building is constructed, will serve as inspiration for the future works on the place, including restoration works on the building and its facade.
Work on the project is expected to start in the second half of 2014 and is to be completed by 2017. The estimated investment will amount to around €8 million and will lead to the creation of 140 jobs once complete. The project aims to boost social, economic and cultural activity in Valletta as well as its surroundings.
The restored market will not only simply sell fruit and vegetables, as is currently being done. Several food stalls and a lounge area will also be installed. 15% of the building will be retained for cultural activity.