St. James residents are expressing excitement about Tuesday’s (March 2) scheduled opening of the Harmony Beach Park by Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness.
The $1.3-billion project, undertaken by the Urban Development Corporation (UDC) through primary funding from the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF), will provide 16 acres of active public park, including restroom facilities, an activity centre, a jogging trail, a multipurpose court, a promenade along the beach, free WI-FI access, and other amenities.
Paula Williams from Westgate Hill, told JIS News that the opening of the park provides a well-needed recreational space for the entire family.
“Right now, it’s great seeing somewhere that you can bring your family, whether for a relaxing afternoon or evening. It is something for the kids to enjoy,” she said.
“I think the best part about it, as well, is that it is free, so it is definitely welcomed that something like this is in Montego Bay,” she added.
Montego Bay resident, Dwain Cole, for his part, said that the space adds “a new, refreshing element to Montego Bay”, noting that it provides a spot for persons to “chill and just have fun”.
“The [multipurpose] court is especially attractive to me, but the whole thing is good for the area and I can’t wait for it to open. I know it’s COVID time now, but I can still go and walk the grounds,” Mr. Cole told JIS News.
Nemonie Cassells, also of Montego Bay, said she is also looking forward to the opening of Harmony Beach Park.
“We can take the children there for a birthday treat or something. It provides that level of social freedom, somewhere that they can actually run and enjoy themselves, so I’m definitely looking forward to taking my children there,” she said.
Speaking to journalists after a press tour of the facility on Friday (February 26), Deputy General Manager for Subsidiary Management and Revenue Generation at the UDC, Lisa Golding, emphasised that Harmony Beach Park “is for Jamaicans to enjoy”.
“I want the message to be that as much as this is Montego Bay, and it sits on the most fabulous white sand beach, this is a product for the locals. The tourists will come and they will love it, but ultimately, this is a product for the people of Montego Bay and western Jamaica,” she said.
Harmony Beach Park will include 132 parking spaces, and safety features such as closed-circuit television cameras (CCTV) and foot patrols.