- Government is to spend approximately $252 million this fiscal year on improving six beaches for public access.
- The move is part of an overall initiative to develop at least one beach in each parish for Jamaicans.
- The Minister revealed that work has started on these parks with the one at Burwood Beach in Trelawny, being the most advanced.
Government is to spend approximately $252 million this fiscal year on improving six beaches for public access.
The move is part of an overall initiative to develop at least one beach in each parish for Jamaicans. It is being undertaken by the Ministry of Tourism and Entertainment in collaboration with the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF), Urban Development Corporation (UDC), and National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA).
Portfolio Minister, Hon. Dr. Wykeham McNeill, made the announcement as he delivered his presentation in the 2014/15 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives.
He noted that the initiative is to ensure that Jamaicans are able to enjoy their patrimony, through access to the beach.
“We are now implementing a programme where at least one beach in every parish, and multiple in some, will be transformed to make quality recreational spaces available to the public: residents and visitors alike. These will operate at the best international standards,” Dr. McNeill said.
He informed that the improved beaches will have: children’s play area, seating with tables, picnic area and gazebos, restrooms and changing room facilities, adequate parking, lifeguard towers, and utilities such as water and electricity.
The Minister revealed that work has started on these parks with the one at Burwood Beach in Trelawny, being the most advanced.
He informed that Providence Beach Park in Montego Bay is at the tendering stage, while design work is being completed on the Norman Manley Beach Park in Negril.
Also identified for similar upgrading are Great Bay at Treasure Beach, in St. Elizabeth; Salem in St. Ann; and Boston in Portland.
Dr. McNeill said the Ministry, in partnership with NEPA and TPDCo, will be identifying and securing leases for additional beaches, in an ongoing programme.
“It is an imperative that suitable quality space for recreation must be made available for Jamaicans,” the Minister emphasised.
In the meantime, Dr. McNeill also announced the resuscitation of the rest stop programme for the comfort and convenience of local and overseas travellers who enjoy the countryside. This will include upgrading some existing facilities such as bathrooms, and building others, to acceptable standards.