The Moat Theatre
The Naas Country Market is on the move.
From January the market will take place every Friday at the Moat Theatre.
The first market after the Christmas/New Year holiday will be hosted at the theatre.
The reason behind the move is that building work is due to start at Naas Town Hall to accommodate a new library.
“We believe the Moat Theatre is our best option; we’re getting a very reasonable deal. They are happy to have us because we’re a community group and we had to think about the costs involved wherever we moved to,” said Hazel Grey, chairperson of Naas Country Market.
It’s understood the group explored a number of other possible locations including McAuley Place and private venues.
However the charge of €40 per hour for some locations was unaffordable.
The appeal of McAuley Place was tempered by the fact that there is a good deal of traffic in the area because of the schools and a major construction project is taking place at the 800 pupil Mercy Convent Primary School. The market producers would also have had difficulties bringing their goods inside.
They also considered a move to Monread but considered this to be to far away for many customers.
It’s also understood that the market is considering opening for longer - up to 1.30pm as well as a slightly earlier start.
The town hall has been the venue for the market for the better part of three decades but it has been hosted at a number of venues in Naas including St. John’s Lane, Chapel Lane, the building which hosted the Order of Malta at Fairgreen and the Moat Theatre.
The market first opened in February 1952 at the market yard, behind the town hall.
In the longer term it’s expected that the market will return to the new library at the town hall - though there is no timeline for this.
Naas Country Market has 25 producers and 4-5 helpers.