Narva shopping center wants to use transition fund for new city market

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The Balti Jaam marketplace in Tallinn, operated by Astri Grupp. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

The Astri shopping center in Narva has proposed to develop a new city market using funds from the EU Just Transition Fund.

There are smaller sales halls in the northeastern border city of Narva that locals call markets and there is something of a marketplace in a yard on Energia tänav where people barter and sell clothes and foodstuffs.

Tarmo Kleimann, the head of Astri and Fama shopping and entertainment centers, assessed that these two aforementioned options should not be called markets, however.

"There should be a comfort marketplace in Narva with a food area, an outdoor market area, a handicraft area, this eco and health area. The marketplace is not just a place for trade, it is also for socialization. The Narva marketplace would also certainly be a output for surrounding small producers," Kleimann said.

That is the vision for a marketplace for the city, according to Astri Grupp. Kleimann said the marketplace development is still in its idea phase, but a suitable plot has already been found and a sketch solution from KOKO Arhitektid bureau has been commissioned. The architectural bureau's sketch would see the marketplace cost close to €5 million.

Astri Grupp is prepared to contribute around half of that. The remaining sum is still being searched for and a letter was even sent to the Minister of Public Administration Jaak Aab (Center) to see if perhaps the funding can come from the EU's Just Transition Fund.

Aab supports the idea, but does not want to open the fund for a marketplace. "Perhaps the city can support it, maybe even the state from other resources," the minister noted.

Tarmo Kleimann said the Just Transition Fund, from which Estonia will receive €340 million and will allocate it to Ida-Viru County in its entirety, is just one option where Narva could look to for a marketplace. Other options are considered to give the third biggest city in Estonia a proper marketplace.

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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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