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Vox pop for Western Focus

Published:Friday | August 7, 2015 | 1:17 PM
Sophia Allen
Shanoi Martin
Otis Sherman
Howard Hendricks

Do you believe that the town of Black River, in St Elizabeth, has the potential to move beyond its current laid-back posture and become a major economic centre in Jamaica. If yes, why? And if not, why not?

Sophia Allen - bursar

Black River's history is quite rich and that is something that could be used to market the town. It was the first town to get electricity, which is something special. In addition, it has great scope for tourism, especially since it already has major attractions such as Vegas and the Black River Safari. There is also room for the construction of guest houses and hotels.

Otis Sherman - chairman, Jamaica Agricultural Society (St Elizabeth)

Based on the layout of the town, I would say it lacks the potential to become a major economic centre. Their scope for expansion is not good, because there is limited land space available for development. However, one would have to acknowledge that the town has a very rich history and there are quality attractions there.

Howard Hendricks - St Elizabeth Chamber of Commerce president

Black River is in a state of dormancy and needs an injection of new life. The inactive old wealth needs to be invested in development. The town also needs a new sense of vision, which possibly needs to come from outside. The town needs to be modernised in terms of putting in new infrastructure so that it can become attractive to investors.

Shanoi Martin - student

Oh yes, Black River has the potential to become an outstanding town, but it is going to take some amount of resources to put in the infrastructure required to attract investment. I believe, if the politicians and the other stakeholders work together, the town can realise its fullest potential.