Market at risk

PORTO’S MOST popular market faces partial demolition following the signing of an agreement by Porto Câmara with a Dutch development company.

However, a public petition with more than 15,000 signatures opposing the demolition was due to be delivered yesterday (Thursday) to the national parliament.

The petitioners are asking for the Bolhão market to be refurbished as “it is an important building in the city”, spokesman José Maria Silva told Portuguese news agency LUSA.

After an advert from the petition movement was published in a local newspaper, the market is expecting an invasion of visitors and shoppers tomorrow (Saturday) morning in response to an appeal to save the facility.

The protest was triggered after Porto Câmara signed a contract with the Dutch group Tramcorne, who won the public tender for the rehabilitation of that facility and its subsequent management.

Under this contract, Porto Câmara is to deliver a 50 year concession of the building in exchange of one million euros as payment for a building licence in the permits and also of a percentage of the income after the first 10 years of the contract.

The Tramcorne project proposes the retention of the market building’s original façade, but the commercial area will be complemented with new shops, restaurants and leisure areas.

This state owned property has been under the control of Porto Câmara since it was built in 1838.

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