JIS News

State Minister with responsibility for Local Government, Hon. Robert Montague, today (Sept. 16) announced a community Cultural Development Fund, which will help local authorities fund cultural or heritage development projects in their communities.
Mr. Montague made the announcement as he addressed this morning’s session of the Inter-city Intangible Cultural Co-operation Network (ICCN) International Local Government Workshop, at the Jamaica Conference Centre, downtown Kingston.
He said that the Local Authorities would have access to up to $500,000, each, for long term cultural or heritage development projects. However, the projects must be done in conjunction with the Jamaica National Heritage Trust (JNHT), which falls under the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture.
“One of the conditions of project evaluation is that, at least two community consultations must be included,” he noted. The Local Authorities can start applying for the funds as of October 1.
The Minister said that, as the Government structure that must provide a significant contribution to community development, Local Government must create the framework for capacity building in the context of Jamaica’s history, values and traditions.
“It is those values which define our communities and, in turn, influence the governance mechanism to be adopted,” he observed.
He said that Local Authorities need to take on cultural heritage as a central responsibility, and link it with the formulation of sustainable development plans which need to build around culture.
“The preservation of cultural heritage must be incorporated into programmes developed by Local Authorities in a meaningful way, thereby expanding the role of the Councils beyond traditional responsibilities,” he said.
The announcement was warmly greeted by the many local Mayors and Councillors attending the three-day workshop, which opened on Tuesday and ends Thursday.
The Local Government workshop on the preservation of intangible cultures is being hosted by the Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation (KSAC), in partnership with the ICCN and UNESCO. It is being attended by dozens of Mayors and other Local Government officials from various cities, worldwide.

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