Wed | Apr 1, 2020

UK Jamaica Fair grander than ever ... Set for King’s House on February 29

Published:Sunday | February 16, 2020 | 12:32 AM

British High Commissioner Asif Ahmad’s 2017 vision to showcase United Kingdom (UK)-Jamaica relations will take shape for the third year running on February 29 on the prestigious grounds of King’s House in St Andrew.

The third Annual UK Jamaica Fair promises to be a spectacle, all things considered – quirky date, bigger venue and an impressive line-up of sponsors.

But already, the outspoken diplomat has made it clear that the aim of the entire High Commission is to use the fair as a springboard to go much further beyond.

“We want to see more businesses making the move to establish a presence in Jamaica and the UK,” Ahmad told The Sunday Gleaner.

“We want to see the rising number of tourists going both ways continue to increase. We want more young people studying in the UK. We want to see our support for Jamaica bear fruit so that citizens can live better lives,” he said.

The fair will provide sponsors and invitees with an arena to not only showcase innovation, but also establish connections and opportunities both locally and within the UK. It is intended to bridge the gap between consumers, business owners and industry leaders from the UK and Jamaica, facilitating opportunities for growth and collaboration.

This year’s iteration of the event will be held under the theme ‘Creativity is GREAT’, aiming to highlight and appreciate the influence of cross-cultural diversity and partnership, through arts, sports, music, technology and innovative business practice in Jamaica and the UK.

Years one and two played out well on the High Commission’s grounds along Trafalgar Road in St Andrew, but Ahmad said that as ideas grew, consideration was given to relocating elsewhere.

New venue

“Having seen the success of the first two fairs, we wanted more space for Jamaicans to show how they were contributing to the growing relationship with the UK. We also wanted to demonstrate the impact we were having in our programmes to build safer and more prosperous communities. Importantly, the consensus among our legacy partners was that we needed to think of a bigger venue so that more people could enjoy the spectacle. So, I called on Governor General Sir Patrick Allen and after a period of reflection, he agreed to allow us the use of the lawns of King’s House,” the high commissioner explained.

Ahmad further urged patrons to support the event, underscoring that it will not only showcase businesses but touch on serious issues.

“It’s a space for rich cultural exchange. A uniquely British experience will be on display across the board – music, fashion, food, sports, it is a one-stop shop. We’re talking Big Ben, Tower Bridge, Premier League for football lovers such as myself, and Harry Potter for the children. Come out and experience the best of the UK in Jamaica,” he said, beaming.

The UK Jamaica Fair continues to gain support from prominent Jamaican brands such as The Jamaica National (JN) Group, National Bakery, Digicel, Virgin Atlantic, RJRGLEANER Communications Group, GraceKennedy, Kestrel, Jamaica Producers, Stewart’s Auto, CPJ, Tracks & Records, Rainforest Seafoods, Wisynco, Island Grill, Sandals, Ettenio, Saint International, ATL Auto, Caribbean Council and Mother’s.

In its role as platinum sponsor, The JN Group will once again partner with the High Commission to execute the ‘UK Jamaica Fair Song Competition’.

To enter free with ticket, register at ukjamaicafair2020.eventbrite.com.