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Jamaicans in the United States (US) Diaspora have come out in support of a proposal by the University of Technology (UTech), to operate the Trelawny Multi-Purpose Stadium as the western campus of that institution.
The support came last weekend at the Trelawny Business and Investment Symposium at the JFK Holiday Inn in New York, USA which was organised by the Friends of Trelawny Association (FOTA).
The symposium resolved to ask Falmouth’s Mayor, Councillor Colin Gager and members of the Trelawny Parish Council to mount a vigorous lobby on the Government and Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Hon. Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange, to approve UTech’s proposal that is now before them.
In March, Minister Grange confirmed that the Government had received a proposal from UTech to use the multi-purpose stadium as its western campus. However, she pointed out that any use of the under-utilised Trelawny stadium would have to be considered within the Government’s overall plan for the development of sports and entertainment in the country.
She said UTech’s proposal, as well as others that the Government has received, were being considered.
In leading the discussion, Chair of the Jamaican Diaspora in the US North East region, Patrick Beckford, said that “while it may be a great thing to have a high-profile sporting franchise lease this facility, this will not help the parish regarding long term development.”
Mr. Beckford, who hails from Falmouth, said he would throw all of his support and that of the Jamaican Diaspora in the US North East region behind the proposal, noting that it would not only bring a variety of jobs, but also increase the visibility of the area, improve the educational level of the parish and most importantly, give the younger generation a better shot at tertiary education.
In his response, Mayor Gager assured the audience that he would take their endorsement to the Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture and the Government.
The Trelawny Multi-Purpose Stadium was built to host the opening ceremony of the Cricket World Cup in 2007, but has been under-utilised.