New Era For Central Market

The iconic Central Market is on the cusp of a new era with Adelaide City Council last night providing in-principal endorsement for an independent management structure.

The move is subject to further financial analysis and an approved business case, including a Legal Charter, set to be presented back to Council in the coming months. However, once finalised, it will aim to improve current operations and ensure the Market remains a vibrant and sustainable part of the city’s landscape.

It will be the first time in history that the Market will be run by a self-governing Board of Directors who do not have any political influence or commercial stake in the venue.

“The Central Market is part of a very competitive retail industry and Council is committed to making sure it continues to be a major tourist attraction, buzzing with life and colour all year round,” Lord Mayor Stephen Yarwood said.

“The new operating model will bring a fresh and contemporary approach to running and promoting the venue and is in tune with what the traders want and what the market needs.”

The decision comes from an extensive review of the Market, which was carried out by independent advisory firm KPMG. The assessment included widespread stakeholder engagement with stallholders, Council members and staff and the general public as well as thorough research of similar models both here and interstate.

“The review clearly demonstrated the need to change the current operating structure, which has been in place since 2001,” Stephen said.

“Council is no longer micro-managing the Market and is seeking professional business minds to ensure it’s professionally led. By having an independent board come in, with an outside perspective, it will mean they can just get on with the job of managing and improving the Market.”

Under the new model, a five-member Board will be appointed, bringing with them a mix of food, retail and market expertise as well as property management skills, marketing experience and corporate government acumen. To ensure complete autonomy, Councillors and stall-owners will not be appointed to the Board.

The Board’s role will be to oversee and develop the market in line with the Central Market Charter, which has been endorsed by Council and outlines the vision, goals and overall strategic direction of the Market.

They will be required to submit a rolling strategic plan and an annual business plan to Council for approval as well as provide Performance Reports on an agreed basis.

Traders will also have a role in the model through a Trader Advisory Group and the existing Trader Association.

President of the Traders Association Franz Knoll said “It will create a new era for the precinct where all stakeholders will have the same goals and outcomes as the basis of the relationship.”

Council will still maintain ownership of the Market and will continue to provide a range of services, such as security and waste management, under a service agreement with the new Market Entity.

The new entity will be established as a subsidiary under section 42 of the Local Government Act 1999 and is subject to Ministerial sign-off.

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