'Border' upgrade

J Wray & Nephew pumps $15m into Scott's Cove refreshment stop

Observer West reporter

Thursday, November 16, 2017

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More than 30 vendors at the popular fish-and-bammy refreshment stop at Scott's Cove, commonly known as Border, are soon to benefit from a $15-million renovation project at the facility being undertaken by J Wray & Nephew (JWN) Limited in collaboration with the Westmoreland and St Elizabeth municipal corporations.

On Tuesday, both corporations signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the wines and spirits dealer, a subsidiary of Gruppo Campari, at the St Elizabeth Municipal Corporation, before embarking on a tour of the facility.

The collaboration is set for three years, with JWN investing in the renovation and beautification, and the local authorities granting the company exclusive branding rights at the rest stop located at the Westmoreland/St Elizabeth border.

The project is expected to start shortly and should be completed in time for Christmas.

Under the agreement the area will see refurbishing and painting of the already-erected restroom, as well as other general painting, clean-up, and improvement in accordance with the budget and projected works specified in the Project Scope and Budget. Vending stalls will also be branded with JWN's trademark Charley's JB Rum.

The project comes on the heels of JWN's US$7.2-million investment in the rebranded Joy Spence Appleton Estate Rum Experience (JS-AERE), which is expected to bring vast economic benefits through tourism to the neighbouring communities in the parish of St Elizabeth, and the country on a whole.

“JWN, through our flagship brand Charley's JB, is elated to partner with the St Elizabeth and Westmoreland municipal councils to bring this important landmark project to fruition,” said Cecil Smith Jr, JWN's commercial director.

“Like the proud people of Scott's Cove, Charley's JB is deeply rooted in community development and couldn't pass up on this opportunity to put its financial muscle behind the people who continue to support its continued growth.”

Tanikie McClarthy Allen, director of public affairs and sustainability at J Wray & Nephew, said “we saw it as our corporate social responsibility”.

“There are a lot of small entrepreneurs here that have been operating for many, many decades at Scott's Cove, but there has not been any infrastructure improvement,” McClarthy Allen stated.

Meanwhile, Mayor of Black River Derrick Sangster welcomed the project and thanked JWN.

“It can only [inure for] the benefit of both Westmoreland and St Elizabeth. This project is not only going to be a project to beautify the location we call 'Border', but I am sure it will result in increased income for the vendors at the border.

His Westmoreland counterpart, Bertel Moore, also welcomed the initiative, but called for a customer service training programme for the vendors.

“With this project, I am quite sure Border will be kept much cleaner than it is today. I want to thank JWray & Nephew to put this programme together,” Moore remarked.

Meanwhile, the vendors who are set to benefit from the initiative have welcomed the decision to upgrade the facility.

According to Westmoreland resident Icilda Morgan, a corn and cold drinks vendor, the move is a breath of fresh air for the facility where she has been vending for over four decades.

“I feel good about it because when we started here it was bush. I sell boiled corn and cold drinks. I started selling fish, but I stopped frying fish after a while,” the veteran vendor told the Jamaica Observer West.

For Gloria Cunningham, a Fustic Grove, Westmoreland resident who has sold fried fish at the location for the past three decades, the project to upgrade her workplace is a welcome move.

“For me, I am very excited about it because I would like to see the “Border' developed with proper seating facilities and so on. A lot of customers come here and have to stand up to eat, and that isn't appropriate. For us to get more business, the place has to have better convenience,” Cunningham argued.

“For years now we have been hearing that they want to develop the 'Border'. But nothing so far has happened.”

However, Nekeshia Perrin, another Westmoreland native who sells fried fish, is adopting “a wait-and-see approach” because of what she said is the failure to get planned upgrade to the facility off the ground in the past.

“I have to see. I can't give an input on it yet. I have to see it work first. Some people came here before and they made us plans that we were going to get seats and so on and it didn't work out. So hopefully this one will work out,” said the sceptical Perrin.




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