$2b to upgrade Falmouth
Declaring his agency's full commitment to infrastructural development, Professor Gordon Shirley, president and CEO of the Port Authority of Jamaica (PAJ), says more than $2 billion will be spent to upgrade Falmouth alone.
In an address last Friday to local stakeholders and tourism interests at the Falmouth Cruise Ship Pier, where he gave an update on the PAJ's community activities in Falmouth, Shirley said the goal was to ensure the town, and by extension the island of Jamaica, continues its march to becoming the region's number one port of call.
Shirley noted that US$7.4 million will be spent on an artisan village, museum and shops; J$350 million on a new Falmouth market; J$46 million on the craft market and on Seaboard Street; J$107 million on Tharpe Street; J$73 million on Market Street; US$1.1 million on further wharf development; and US$3 million on dredging to simultaneously facilitate the berthing of two Oasis-sized vessels.
New market to make big impact on town
Professor Gordon Shirley, president and CEO of the Port Authority of Jamaica (PAJ), is pointing to the long-awaited construction of a new market as one of the projects that will make a huge difference to the town of Falmouth in Trelawny.
"For several years, we have had this project to try and construct a new market place for the town of Falmouth to replace the old 'Bend Down' Market," Professor Shirley said as he addressed local stakeholders and tourism interests at the Falmouth Cruise Ship Pier last Friday.
"I am pleased to say that we are approaching completion of that. We have an agreement with the Trelawny municipality to take over the market and to do the last remaining pieces... customise it for the people. Not trying to steal the mayor's thunder, but over the next three months, we will be able to open that market, which will make a huge difference to the persons who come to Falmouth to do their shopping."
Shirley added that the shopping experience and a market's aesthetics have a lot to do with how a town is perceived, further noting that Falmouth is traditionally a favourite place for vendors and shoppers alike.
"The experience of the persons who come to Falmouth to shop will be substantially enhanced," he added. "The people who come to sell in the 'Bend Down' Market are going to be substantially enhanced, and I know that our guests who come in from the ships will also enjoy that shopping experience."
Shirley also noted that the perennial problem of congestion and overcrowding on a market day will be greatly reduced, considering that the new market location will be a little further from the centre of the town.
"We have also developed the first phase of a new craft village which will house some 31 craft vendors in due course," he added. "There is another group that is housed just across the road from them which we also have to deal with. We are going to build out proper craft stalls to house all of those. The town of Falmouth will have its own artisan craft centre, which will allow those persons to no longer be squatting or harassing guests but to be an important part of the experience that visitors will face when they come to Falmouth."