JIS News

The parish of Trelawny will see an injection of US$30 billion in investments over the next 10 years.
This was noted by His Worship the Mayor of Falmouth, Councillor Colin Gager, as he delivered the keynote address at the Friends of Trelawny (FOTA) Business and Investment Symposium, on May 23, at the JFK Holiday Inn, Queens, New York, U.S.A.
“Billions of dollars in foreign direct and local investments in the tourism and housing sectors, are now taking place in Trelawny ,” the Mayor said.
He told the large gathering that the tourism sector is expected to see some US$20 billion in investments that are earmarked for projects in the parish over the next five to 10 years.
Among the projects will be the construction of the new US$122 million cruise ship pier, which Mayor Gager said is being financed by Royal Caribbean Cruise and the Port Authority of Jamaica. When completed, it will be the largest cruise ship pier in the Caribbean.
Mayor Gager pointed out that construction of the pier has begun, and that he met with stakeholders of the project last week and they assured him they are still aiming to meet the 2010 completion deadline.
“Construction of the pier will see the building of a new food market, and this will also result in the relocation of the popular ‘bend down’ market,” the Mayor said. The market is expected to be relocated to a site on busy Market Street, better known as ‘One Mile’.
There will also be the construction of a new fishing village as a result of the construction of the new pier. The village, he said, will be located on lands adjacent to the infirmary and the Falmouth All-Age School.
More than 2,000 jobs are expected to be created during the construction phase of the pier and another 200 on completion.
Turning to the tourism sector, Mayor Gager said Harmony Cove Resort, a joint venture between the Government of Jamaica and the US based firm Tavistock Group, and which is expected to be the largest hotel in the Caribbean when completed, is expected to come on stream soon.
Harmony Cove, which the Mayor said is a one of a kind in the Caribbean, will boast a wide range of offerings, including the much anticipated Casino gambling.
He added that the Spanish-based Excellence Group is now constructing a 1,000-room property.
Turning to tourism developments in Southern Trelawny, Mayor Gager said there is a “high pitched tourism fever” now taking place in the Cockpit Mountains. The Minister of Tourism has been approached to provide funding and expertise to further develop the Cockpit Country.
The Mayor noted that the popular Burwood Beach, adjacent to Starfish Hotel and owned by the Trelawny Parish Council, will be developed as a major attraction through funding from the Tourism Enhancement Fund.
In the housing sector, the Mayor pointed out that 800 two-bedroom units are being constructed at Stonebrook Estate and a further 300 units are to be built at Outram Estate in Bounty Hall.
He said the long-delayed multi-purpose police station in Falmouth is now under construction and will be completed in the middle of next year.
Councillor Gager urged former residents to grasp at the wide array of investments that are now taking place in the parish. “Never before has the parish seen such a myriad of investments,” he said.
In his remarks, FOTA President, Michael Wattkis, urged persons with Trelawny roots living abroad to seriously look at investing in the parish.
“We cannot sit by here and see these wide ranging investments taking place and do not seize the opportunity. Our parish has been asleep for many years and now it has been awakened by these vast investments coming on stream,” he said.
Mr. Wattkis disclosed that next year’s symposium will look towards agriculture, and how current and former residents of the parish can help to “revitalise and re-energise” this important sector.
Jamaica’s Consul General to New York, Geneive Brown Metzger, declared the symposium open. The panellists included Vice President of Scotia Jamaica Building Society, Gladstone Whitelock; Regional Manager of Business Development at Scotia, Audley Knight; Michelle Johnson Fagan of Coldwell Bank, and Chairman of the Jamaica Diaspora USA, Northeast region, Patrick Beckford.
The business symposium was one of three events staged by FOTA, as part of its annual Memorial Weekend Reunion, which brought together former residents of that parish from Australia, the UK, Canada and the United States.
The reunion weekend closed on May 24 with FOTA’s 27th annual reunion picnic at the Anthony Wayne Recreation Area, near Bear Mountain in New York.
Proceeds from this year’s event will go towards assisting the Falmouth Infant School. Scotia Group, Western Union and Grace Foods sponsored the weekend reunion.

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