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KINGSTON, Jamaica, May 28, 2014: The Ministry of Tourism and Entertainment and its agencies will be spending close to one billion dollars over the next three years to enable residents of the town of Falmouth, Trelawny to benefit directly from tourism.
“We are sensitive to the cries from members of the community about their inability to attract business from the cruise passengers,” said Tourism and Entertainment Minister, Hon. Dr. Wykeham McNeill in his Sectoral Presentation in Parliament yesterday.
Ever since the opening of the multi-million dollar Falmouth Cruise Ship Pier, two major concerns of the community have been that the local people were not benefiting and the contrast between the appearance of the town and that of the pier was unacceptable.
Declaring that “a transformative solution is required,” Dr. McNeill said the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) has signed MOUs with the Urban Development Corporation (UDC) and the Port Authority of Jamaica (PAJ) to undertake development works in Falmouth.
The focus will be on the Hampden Wharf Development and a Streetscape Improvement Project.
Giving details, Dr. McNeill said Hampden Wharf will be developed at a projected cost of $585 million, to create an entirely open experience, accommodating craft vendors and other business people from the town.
“It will feature restaurants, an entertainment centre and shops in an inviting environment that harmonises with the development at the pier. It will be completely open to visitors and locals. Improvements to heritage assets like the wharf building, the Dome and Foundry and the Tharpe House will be included in the development,” he announced.
In the other project, $330 million have been earmarked for the Falmouth Streetscape Project which will entail aesthetic and structural improvement to roads and lanes in the vicinity of Water Square, to enhance the ambiance of the town.
Dr. McNeill told Parliament, “we have made certain, as in all our developments to date, that consultation with the stakeholders has been central to the development of the projects. This is done to ensure that there is buy-in from the broader community into all the work that is undertaken.”
The total expenditure on the projects is close to a billion dollars and completion is expected in three years.