The opening of this park is quite timely and gives the city of Montego Bay a brand new panorama that boasts its profile as a growing metropolitan centre, while enhancing destination Jamaica.
The Harmony Beach Park, in Montego Bay, St. James, developed at a cost of $1.3 billion, was officially opened by Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, on Friday (May 21).
Among the amenities on the 16-acre park are 132 parking spaces, restroom facilities, an activity centre, a jogging trail, a promenade along the beach, and a multipurpose court. There will also be closed circuit (CCTV) cameras, free WIFI access as well as foot patrols.
In his address, the Prime Minister said that Harmony Beach Park represents the future of urban development in Jamaica, and embodies what is on the horizon for urban planning and the commitment of the Government to introduce more green spaces in communities.
“It is well documented that green spaces and other nature-based solutions increase the quality of urban environments. Green spaces promote healthy lifestyles and improve the health and wellness of residents. For this reason, I encourage you to see the beach park as a turning point for what you can expect from the Government as it relates to sustainability in development,” Mr. Holness said.
“This is really the people’s park, the people named it, it is your park and it is free for you to access. What you see here is the combination of dedicated and collaborative work by the Urban Development Corporation (UDC), the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF), the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, the St. James Municipal Corporation and of course the project contractor, M and M Jamaica Limited,” he added.
The Prime Minister emphasised that the Government is cognizant of the fact that development must be sustainable in order to offer long term benefits.
For his part, Mayor of Montego Bay, Councillor Leeroy Williams, said the opening of the park augurs well for the city, “not only because of the value which it will add to the tourism product, but it will also improve the social lives of our citizens and foster positive interactions.”
The Mayor also pledged the support of the St. James Municipal Corporation in ensuring that Harmony Beach Park becomes a sought after attraction and that there is respect for the rules and regulations governing the facility.
Executive Director of the TEF, Dr. Carey Wallace, who brought remarks on behalf of Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, said that the Harmony Beach Park stands out among the projects funded by the TEF.
“The opening of this park is quite timely and gives the city of Montego Bay a brand new panorama that boasts its profile as a growing metropolitan centre, while enhancing destination Jamaica. The TEF is very proud to be a part of this ground breaking initiative, which will help transform the landscape of our tourism mecca,” he said.
“We look forward to Montegonians and Jamaicans in general, enjoying the wonderful amenities this park has to offer, with relatives, friends and visitors alike,” Dr. Wallace added.
The project was undertaken by the UDC at the area formerly known as Dump Up Beach. It had a name change after a ‘Name the Park’ competition was held by the UDC and the TEF in August last year.
Funding was provided by the TEF, the IDB and the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation.