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WiredJa Online News

TEF develops Jamaica's heritage sites as cultural attractions

Jamaica’s tourism industry is set to get a boost with a number of its valuable heritage sites and landmarks being developed  as attractions and preserved by the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF), which is operated under the Ministry of Tourism and Entertainment.

One of the major projects is the beautification and rehabilitation of the town of Falmouth, in Trelawny, which is said to be one of the best-preserved historic towns in Jamaica. The work will include improvements to the aesthetics of the area as well as structural upgrading of the roads and lanes in the vicinity of Water Square in the town.

Executive Director of the TEF, Clyde Harrison, explained that the  cost of the improvements will  be $900 million and will  involve development of the Hampden Wharf -estimated to cost $585 million; and the Falmouth Streetscape Improvement Project, budgeted for $330 million.

 “We will be looking at the actual town in terms of its authentic nature and work at maintaining its historical integrity…we will be working on the drainage system, and resurfacing areas, in order to enhance the ambiance in the town,” Mr. Harrison said.

He added that the Hampden Wharf Development project will see historical buildings in the vicinity of the wharf being converted for commercial use, with walkways built, allowing smoother traffic flow from the wharf through the current cruise ship pier into the streets.

“We are also continuing the development of Devon House and have, over the years, spent in excess of $100 million on Devon House. We are still continuing to do work as we want to make it a very self-sufficient project, in order to take it off our books in terms of support,” the Executive Director added.

Works valued at approximately $60 million include converting what was the old nursery into a wedding pavilion; installation of extensive lighting; and repairing the roof.

Other projects include the resuscitation of the Old Naval hospital in Port Royal at a cost of $100 million and rehabilitation work at the birthplaces of some of the National Heroes.

Mr. Harrison informed that work has been completed at the Montego Bay Civic Centre, which included resuscitation of the entire area; conversion of the centre into a museum, with a bistro at the back; and repairs to the parking area.

The TEF also contributes to the annual Independence celebrations, the hosting of various cultural festivals and events, and the mounting of exhibitions at the Institute of Jamaica.

“So, we do annual work to expand the culture, bring the culture to the people and secure our heritage. We strive to make projects sustainable and work in partnership with several government agencies to execute the various projects,” Mr. Harrison explained.

Last modified onFriday, 05 September 2014 12:55

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