Thu | Jul 16, 2020

Falmouth’s new artisan village to open soon – Bartlett

Published:Monday | June 29, 2020 | 12:12 AMLeon Jackson/Gleaner Writer
Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett.
Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett.

Western Bureau:

The new $700-million artisan village in Falmouth, Trelawny, which is poised to serve as a marquee tourist attraction in the resort town, is all but ready and Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett is hinting that it will be opened soon.

According to Bartlett, the artisan village, which is located on lands leased from the Port Authority of Jamaica in proximity to the Falmouth pier, is poised to offer a new experience to visitors to the island.

“A few final details surrounding electricity are to be completed; separate from that, the village is ready,” said Bartlett. “One hundred and seventy-five persons have been trained to offer the unique experience the village intends to offer Jamaicans and visitors alike.”

Bartlett said he hopes the opening of the village will coincide with the return of cruise ships to the seaside town, which has not been able to host cruise ships since the country’s borders were closed in March as a result of the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I cannot give a definite date for the opening because of a number of factors; one, there is presently a no-sail protocol in place. There was a meeting scheduled for June 24 to look into it. This has now been shifted to September 12,” said Bartlett. “What this means is that the return of cruise ships may not happen until October.”

Falmouth on show

The artisan village is expected to expose visitors to the town of Falmouth through the various eras of transformation from the days of sugar, its Georgian heritage, and today as the nation’s premier cruise shipping destination.

“Falmouth was once the busiest commercial port in Jamaica. It boasts its own historical narratives from Governor Sir William Trelawny, after whom the parish is named, to the capital Falmouth, from where he came to Jamaica,” explained Bartlett, who was outlining his vision for the new village.

The creation of the artisan village is the answer to the prayers of many business stakeholders in the parish, who have been bemoaning the absence of a marquee attraction to keep some of the cruise shipping earnings in the town. At present, cruise visitors are regularly taken to out-of-parish attractions such as the Rose Hall Great House in St James and the Dunn’s River Falls in St Ann.