MONTEGO BAY — The Old Hospital Park on Gloucester Avenue in Montego Bay, which was extensively upgraded through a partnership between the Ministry of Tourism, the Urban Development Corporation (UDC) and the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) was officially opened on Tuesday June 14.
The $45 million project was funded by the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF), which has also made a commitment to fund a three-year maintenance programme at the park.
The Old Hospital Park boasts a number of gazebos, sanitary conveniences and an information desk, and will be managed by the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB).
Delivering the keynote address, Minister of Tourism, Hon Edmund Bartlett, said that the park will add a new dimension to the city’s tourism product, as well as the physical and aesthetic beauty of Montego Bay.
“For us, this is a ‘Red Letter day’ in Montego Bay’s modern development. It is so because we have fought hard and long to find, not only economic and social enrichment, but we have sought to find the kind of social infrastructure that will give us the opportunity to bask, not only in creative offerings, but to be able to relax with nature and to be in touch with the Divine, through the inspiration of what is around us and what is about us,” he noted.
He congratulated the UDC, Lawson Construction and the NSWMA for “the tremendous synergy” they brought to creating the final product.
Mr. Bartlett urged stakeholders to ensure that an appropriate name for the park is determined within the next few month.
“I want a name that reflects Montego Bay’s culture, its history, development and reflects also its future, where we are going”, he said.
The Minister also expressed the hope that the park should not only be a place for relaxation, leisure or perambulation by young people, children and the elderly and others, but also a ‘conversation point’ for both visitors and Jamaicans.
“Mr. Bartlett announced that he would soon be commissioning a sculpture for the park, which will embody the history and spirit of Montego Bay, and will mirror the future of the city.
The Tourism Minister was joined by representatives of the Ministry of Tourism and the developers, and persons from the Montego Bay business community, in cutting the ribbon to signal the official opening of the Old Hospital Park.
By GLENIS ROSE, JIS Reporter