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New town centre for Falmouth, Trelawny

Thursday, March 22, 2018

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PRIME Minister Andrew Holness announced Tuesday that a new town centre is to be built for Falmouth, the Trelawny capital.

He advised that the Port Authority of Jamaica (PAJ) has identified 50 acres of land in close proximity to the town for the development, which will be similar to that planned for Morant Bay, St Thomas, which was announced in 2017.

The prime minister made the announcement during his 2018/19 Budget Debate presentation in the House of Representatives, under the theme: 'Prosperity in Action'.

Holness said the proposed developments are in keeping with the Government's policy decision to re-establish Jamaica's town centres on a more sustainable basis, with smarter and better laid out facilities and infrastructure.

This, he said, is in light of the fact that many of these historic towns have outgrown the physical infrastructure and planning laid at their inception.

The prime minister warned that if left to evolve on their own under existing planning regulations and increasing urbanisation demands on infrastructure, “these towns will become unsustainable and unliveable”, adding that “indeed, this is now the case”.

“Old Falmouth has significant heritage and historical value which, if properly preserved and utilised, could see the significant expansion of the town as a tourism, cultural and lifestyle centre,” Holness said.

At the same time, residents and other stakeholders of Falmouth, Trelawny, and Ocho Rios, St Ann, stand to benefit significantly from several infrastructural developments being undertaken in those resort towns, which are at various stages of implementation or completion.

Among these, according to Prime Minister Holness, are construction of the $300-million Bend-Down Market in Falmouth, and the Fisherman's Complex in Ocho Rios, which are slated to be officially opened in April.

He said other developments in Falmouth include a new craft market being constructed to replace the 'blue tarpaulin' vendors arcade slated for completion in July; renovation of Water Square in the town's centre; and construction of the Hampden Wharf artisan village complex and new green space development for the Falmouth Port terminal, now under way; as well as expanded introduction of pedicab services in April, following a successful pilot.

The prime minister said he was “particularly proud” of the work being spearheaded by the Government in the historic town to “develop an authentic product by including the people”.

“The local people must benefit from tourism, but there must be order, seamlessness and security. I believe we are striking this sustainable equilibrium in the town,” he added.

— JIS

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