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Canterbury Residents Look Forward to Completion of Multipurpose Community Centre

By: , June 21, 2023
Canterbury Residents Look Forward to Completion of Multipurpose Community Centre
Photo: Nickieta Sterling
Deputy Mayor of Montego Bay, Councillor Richard Vernon, speaks at the Canterbury Community Development Project’s launch on June 15 at the Montego Bay Cultural Centre.

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Residents of Canterbury in Montego Bay, St. James, are eagerly awaiting the completion of the multimillion-dollar community development project that is slated to take place within their community by next year.

The $40-million initiative, dubbed the Canterbury Community Development Project, will see the construction of a multipurpose community centre at the entrance of the community, which will be used for social events and the training of unskilled residents.

In an interview with JIS News at the project’s launch on June 15, at the Montego Bay Cultural Centre, President of the Canterbury Ambassador Group, Shamona Whyte, shared that the initiative is an extension of a community advancement project that began in January 2021.

“We started a bottle drive, where we began to recycle bottles to raise funds. Then [Councillor Richard] Vernon took it further and got in touch with Sandals Foundation and they took it from there and here we are with a successful end,” she noted.

Ms. Whyte said she believes that the project will “redeem us from the stigma that sits with us beyond our past… . We are looking forward to being redeemed and having a safe place in society”.

Canterbury resident, Marjorie Mitchell, said she is grateful for the project and the prospects it will yield for the youth of the area.

“We have a stigma over there [that] is beyond anything else, and for something to come into the community it is highly appreciated… most of the young youth are waiting for something like this. This is an opportunity for them, and I hope they make good use of it,” she said.

For his part, Deputy Mayor of Montego Bay, Richard Vernon, who is also the Councillor for Montego Bay South, shared that the project demonstrates the new direction of Montego Bay.

“This project is a resilience mechanism and a manifestation of good responsible governance through public-private partnership and development cooperation. It demonstrates a commitment to the new direction of Montego Bay, and this new direction rests on the understanding that we must be sustainable as a city,” he said.

The Canterbury Community Development Project is a collaboration of the St. James Municipal Corporation, United Nations (UN)-Habitat, and the Sandals Foundation.

Last Updated: June 21, 2023

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