Boiled corn, dried figs and even a dog at the “new” Messines Market

Works, which also included the area surrounding the building, cost 1,7 million euros

Photos: Elisabete Rodrigues | Sul Informação

Boiled corn, sweet acorns, carqueja sauces for tea, dried figs. These are some of the products that D. Almerinda sells in the renovated São Bartolomeu de Messines Market.

D. Almerinda is retired, but continues to sell «in the square» mainly what she produces and collects, to «complement her retirement, which is small».

This lady is one of ten vendors at the Municipal Market of São Bartolomeu de Messines, whose renovation works were inaugurated, with a celebration, on the morning of Thursday, March 28th.

The works, which included the complete requalification of the building's interior and exterior spaces, complete renovation of the infrastructure, functional reorganization of the space with relocation of the sales counters, requalification of the floor, roof, terraces, as well as the requalification of the two streets sides, which are now pedestrian only, cost 1,7 million euros, financed in part by CRESC Algarve 2020 (660 thousand euros) and the rest by the European Investment Bank.


D. Almerinda, Carla Benedito and Rosa Palma – Photo: Elisabete Rodrigues | Sul Informação


Carla Benedito, president of the São Bartolomeu de Messines Parish Council, an entity to which the Silves Chamber delegated the management of the Market, highlighted, at the inauguration, that «the space became more pleasant and greatly improved the sales conditions for sellers and local producers”.

The people of Messina “were hoping the market would reopen!”, exclaimed the mayor.

During the two years of works, the vendors were moved to a temporary space, but the Parish Council, responsible for managing the Market, did not “charge them any amount”.

There were «42 thousand euros in exemption», which is «an effort that the Board made on behalf of sellers and shopkeepers», highlighted Carla Benedito.

Rosa Palma, president of the Chamber of Silves, highlighted that the intervention allowed «to give new life to the market, to give more quality to the space, to make it more attractive, but also to give it another, more dynamic dimension, transforming it into a living space”.

An example of this new dynamic is the exhibition of old photographs that portray what the days were like after the 25th of April 1974, in Messines, displayed in the center of the building. Or the stalls for selling crafts, cakes and other locally produced items.


Group photo at the inauguration – Photo: Elisabete Rodrigues | Sul Informação


The São Bartolomeu de Messines Market is part of the Regional Network of Local Markets.

Aquiles Marreiros, technical secretary of CRESC Algarve 2020 and Algarve 2030, representing the Regional Coordination and Development Commission, highlighted that the requalification of the Market «fulfils a function in the territory of Messines», contributing to a «new centrality».

These works, he recalled, were carried out with funds from PADRE (Action Plan for the Development of Endogenous Resources), a program that, in the previous framework, had 8 million euros for the entire Algarve.

However, within the scope of Algarve 2030, the PADRE will continue, even being greatly reinforced, as it will be endowed with 32 million euros. «This PADRE has continuity», assured Aquiles Marreiros.

Finishing the short inauguration ceremony, which included the unveiling of the inaugural plaque and was accompanied by the percussion and joy of Clube da Batucada, Mayor Rosa Palma announced that the Municipality is already working «on financing Algarve 2030» .

«We want to requalify other markets, such as Armação de Pêra and Pêra», concluded the mayor of Silven.


Interior of the renovated market – Photo: Elisabete Rodrigues | Sul Informação


A work on the Municipal Market of São Bartolomeu de Messines included a large-scale intervention in existing facilities, particularly with regard to the complete requalification of the building's interior and exterior spaces, the complete renewal of infrastructures (water supply and sanitation networks, electrical installations, telecommunications and surrounding road network), reorganization functional space with the relocation of the sales counters, and the renovation of the floor, the roof and the terraces.
It also included the pedestrianization and requalification of Rua Dr. José Ventura Duarte and Rua José Rodrigues Martins, allowing only car access for loading and unloading and reinforcing the dynamics of local commerce in the surrounding area, particularly giving space to terraces.
This intervention also took into account the safeguarding of the building's architectural design and respect for the market's memory, simultaneously with the introduction of contemporary elements, responding to legal requirements in the fields of hygiene, safety, mobility and the need to modernize working conditions, adding new skills.


Interior of the renovated market – Photo: Elisabete Rodrigues | Sul Informação


A Regional Network of Local Markets encompasses the Markets of Sagres, Vila do Bispo, Aljezur, Odeceixe, Almádena, Odiáxere, Barão de São João, Bensafrim, Espiche, Monchique, Alvor, Silves, São Bartolomeu de Messines, Alcantarilha, Pêra, Algoz, Moncarapacho and São Brás de Alportel , which are now united in a common project, with a homogeneous brand image.
These are spaces of varying dimensions, managed by Municipal Councils, Parish Councils and, in one case, by a municipal company. Funded by funds from PADRE (Action Plan for the Development of Endogenous Resources), the Regional Network intends, in essence, « find alternative ways to bring people to the markets", as highlighted by Márcio Viegas, president of Vicentina – Association for the Development of the Southwest, the entity that coordinates the entire process.

The Network aims to develop dynamic actions to revitalize commerce, local products and producers and to reinforce consumers' identification with local and regional productions and the importance of consuming locally. This network is promoted by Vicentina – Associação for the Development of the Southwest, which develops the Animation and Communication Program in several Local Markets in the Algarve.


Photos: Elisabete Rodrigues | Sul Informação

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