Williams: Creative industries must drive Kingston's development
Mayor of Kingston Delroy Williams is calling for greater emphasis on the creative industries in order to diversify the city's revenue streams.
He made the suggestion recently at the first meeting of the Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation (KSAMC) for 2019 at its offices in downtown Kingston.
"The creative industries must play a significant role in the vision to make Kingston the pearl of the Antilles. It must drive the city's economy, and, therefore, we must frame the environment within which the industry can flourish," Williams said.
For amusement licences, it was reported that the KSAMC made $31 million between January and November 2018. According to the mayor, the figure represents a 14 per cent increase on the $27 million collected in all of 2017.
Williams said that without creating an environment in which creative industries can flourish, then revenue collected by the KSAMC would remain stagnant.
"We have revenue sources, but unless we begin to expand and diversify the city's economy and diversify in areas that we have an advantage as a city in, like the creative industries, we are really not going to see any major increases in our revenues," Williams said.
"And that is why as the council, we have to begin to focus on the economy of the city and what can drive the city's economy, which will be done to the benefit of the council and the people of Kingston and St Andrew."
He added that the KSAMC had been in dialogue with the Ministry of Culture to chart the way forward.
The mayor had indicated that the corporation intends to reduce the processing time for building approvals from three months to 21 days.
Areas of focus for the KSAMC this year are the introduction of a new parking policy and the completion of the rehabilitation work being carried out on the historic Ward Theatre, located in downtown Kingston.