JIS News

Story Highlights

  • UDC says that plans are in place for the regularization of persons, who operate business at the Ocho Rios Fishermen’s Village.
  • The aim is to transform the village into a premier facility, mainly for entertainment and dining.
  • The 18-month project is scheduled to commence in December.

The Urban Development Corporation (UDC) says that plans are in place for the regularization of persons, who operate business at the Ocho Rios Fishermen’s Village, so that they will be included in the overall transformation of the facility.

“As part of the plans going forward, approved restaurant operators will also be provided with lease agreements, so legally, they will be authorized to operate, with a management framework in place,” said the agency’s General Manager, Desmond Malcolm.

He was speaking at a Think Tank held on Tuesday, November 26, at the Jamaica Information Service’s (JIS) head office in Kingston, where he provided details of the upgrading plans for the fishing village.

Mr. Malcolm said the aim is to transform the village into a premier facility, mainly for entertainment and dining.

The 18-month project, which is scheduled to commence in December, will also include the upgrading of the waterfront, with consideration given to possible swimming areas, while retaining free public access; erection of a proper security gate; and replacement of illegal and unsightly zinc structures on the boundaries of the property. Proper parking and security will also be put in place.

“We plan to restore a part of the beach that was damaged. We will also be putting in a central sewage system and proper bathroom facilities, so that we can better accommodate our visitors and operators of the facility. We are also going to rebuild some of the shops that were destroyed, to accommodate more business operators. So, in essence, we aim to transform the fishing village into a place that we all will be proud of, as Jamaicans,” Mr. Malcolm said.

He noted that the fishing village is an important part of the Ocho Rios experience, and plans are focused on including the fisher folk in the upgrading process, as well as implementing a management control system for the facility.

He stated that the rehabilitation is being undertaken in line with the overall goals outlined in vision 2030, to make “Jamaica the place of choice to live, work, raise families, and do business”.

Mr. Malcolm emphasised that Ocho Rios is a key resort town, visited by thousands of visitors, and as such, the UDC aims to enrich and highlight the rustic charm and rich cultural heritage of the area, while offering convenient access to shops, authentic cuisine, music and entertainment, along with other amenities.

“We are working to ensure that the facilities that will be put in place will leave all our visitors, from both home and abroad, with unforgettable and treasured memories, as well as the residents of the town with a sense of pride,” he stated.

An agency of government, the UDC is the principal body charged with urban and rural development in Jamaica.