McNeill challenges Negril stakeholders to embrace new development projects
As plans for the transformation of the resort town of Negril take shape, Minister of Tourism and Entertainment Dr Wykeham McNeill has challenged stakeholders to actively participate and support the town's transformation.
Outlining an architectural concept of plans for the transformation at a meeting with Negril stakeholders at the Grand Lido last week, McNeill listed a number of new projects for the community. These include a new 150-shop two-storey craft centre; a facility for the monthly Tourism Linkages Hub Farmers' Market; and the upgrading of the Norman Manley Beach Park. A statue of National Hero Norman Washington Manley is to be placed in the courtyard of the new craft centre. Additionally, the community centre will be refurbished and will house offices for the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo) and the Green Island-Negril Planning Authority, as well as a proper meeting room.
The town centre is also earmarked to get a facelift, and concurrently, squatters in the vicinity of the urban centre are to be relocated to a property which has been acquired adjacent to Sheffield All-Age School.
Some other projects which are already under way include the repaving of the road by Smithfield, construction of a dual cycling and walking pathway along the Norman Manley Boulevard, drainage control and improvements to the Negril Police Station.
McNeill fielded a range of questions on the proposed upgrading project, including timelines and costs. He advised that funding was already in place for some of the projects, but there were processes, such as getting approval from the relevant government agencies, which had to be dealt with before work would start.
A technical team from the Urban Development Corporation (UDC) as well as a committee spearheaded by TPDCo will be going over the plans with representatives from the stakeholders' group with a view to incorporating various recommendations.
In addition to the UDC, the stakeholders' meeting was attended by executive director of the Tourism Enhancement Fund, Clyde Harrison; executive director of TPDCo, Dennis Hickey, and chairman of the Negril Resort Board, Cliff Reynolds.
Prior to meeting with Negril stakeholders, McNeill met with Negril's craft traders and received their nod of approval for the new craft facility, with recommendations for adjustments in the layout of the shops.