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Shipping Container Market Opens In Belfast

A pop-up shipping container market has opened in Belfast, making use of a site formerly occupied by a cinema.

Trademarket has moved into the site on Dublin Road, where once film fans would go to the Movie House cinema, the BBC reports.

Many innovative traders across the UK have decided to buy a used shipping container to set up a trading post in their local town or city, with Trademarket showing that Northern Ireland’s largest city is no exception.

In this case, the fact the outlets can be moved is important as the containers, from which traders sell items such as food and clothing, have led a nomadic existence so far.

They had been used in the redevelopment of the Bank Buildings after a fire in 2018 and they will use the Dublin Road location for just two years before IT firm Kainos takes over the site to build a new base on it.

Speaking to the BBC about Trademarket, co-founder Will Neill said it had been “a long time coming”. He described it as “a collective of retail and street food vendors.“

He explained: “The idea is that we’re bringing the best of artisan products and vendors from Belfast and Northern Ireland to one location in the middle of Belfast.”

Mr Neill said the site is “perfectly suited to what we want to achieve,” which means it could be quite a challenge to find a good replacement for it in 2024.

In other cities around the UK, market areas based on a set of used shipping containers have been established with more permanent bases.

Examples of this include Cargo, a collective of seafood eateries and other outlets at Wapping Wharf in Bristol, and Hatch in Manchester, a mix of shops and food outlets located on Oxford Road in the shadow of the Mancunian Way flyover.

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