$1 billion to develop old Hampden wharf
The Government plans to spend just over $1 billion to develop the old Hampden wharf in Falmouth, Trelawny, into an artisan village.
The village will feature 300 shops where craft and other indigenous products are sold, as well as an area to facilitate the production of these items by local artisans.
It will be the first to be constructed locally and is among the centrepiece tourism projects scheduled to be undertaken during the 2016-17 fiscal year.
When completed, the artisan village is expected to complement the adjoining Falmouth pier and significantly reposition it as the Caribbean's premier cruise ship port of call.
Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett said this and other projects should significantly transform Falmouth by encouraging "buy-in" among stakeholders that facilitate the town's continued growth and development.
"The important thing for us is that we want Jamaican goods to be showcased and merchandised at this artisan village so that the people of Falmouth will have a chance to be a part of the process," Bartlett stated.
He was speaking during a recent tour of projects that have been, or are being, jointly undertaken in Falmouth by the ministry, through the Tourism Enhancement Fund, the Tourism Product Development Company, the Port Authority of Jamaica, Urban Development Corporation, and Trelawny Parish Council.
Bartlett said the artisan village will be a one-stop-shop facility where visitors can see the creation and merchandising of craft items while enjoying traditional Jamaican entertainment and interacting with craftsmen.
It will also provide an avenue for unearthing the talents of local artists and enabling them to express their creativity.
Government has so far spent $190 million to renovate several of Falmouth's iconic landmarks.