JIS News

Chairman of the National Investment Bank of Jamaica (NIBJ) and head of the recently established Spanish Town Redevelopment Company (SPARCOM), Aubyn Hill, has said the group stood ready to take all necessary steps to improve the old capital as soon as Cabinet gave its approval.
SPARCOM which is a government/private sector entity, lead by Mr. Hill, plans to refurbish the city’s historic Emancipation Square and make it an inviting prospect for heritage tourism, among other opportunities.
It is proposed that the entity will be Spanish Town’s economic development agency and will be expected to, among other things, prepare a redevelopment area plan for the town; develop a distinct heritage tourism district in the town; develop viable mixed income neighbourhoods in the area, and relocate displaced residents.
“Spanish Town is a wonderful turnaround opportunity, we think we have the chance to take that seventeenth century envelope and put inside it a modern infrastructure that will be the gem that people will travel to see,” Mr. Hill, told investors while speaking at the recent staging of the Business Development Forum at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston.
He said SPARCOM was being established to help bring Spanish Town the growth and re-establishment it needed. Mr. Hill further pointed out that because of its immense historic base Spanish Town was now being considered as a world heritage destination. SPARCOM, he said, was determined to establish the old capital as a place of growth and development where persons could enjoy living.
He said it was believed that the best mechanism to devise growth had been identified in SPARCOM.
“We believe that we have identified the best mechanism that the western world has used to devise growth and it’s a company. the point is we do want to make sure it’s a place where people can live freely, where people will want to come, where we can have specialized hotels that persons can stay in,” Mr. Hill elaborated.
In the meantime, he said the intention was to showcase the plan in the island as well as outside its borders. Prime Minister P.J. Patterson in December of 2002 announced that he would set up the Kingston City Centre Improvement Company to look at a triad of cities, specifically Port Royal, Kingston and Spanish Town which have a wealth of natural history and heritage.