The historical Trench Town Entertainment Park in St. Andrew South has been renovated by the Tourism Product Development Company Limited (TPDCo) as part of its Spruce Up ‘Pon De Corner’ programme.
The project, which was executed in two phases, was completed at a cost of $39.7 million.
Speaking at the official opening of the Park on Friday (February 12), Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, said that the project is “money well spent”.
“It will not only serve its typical purpose – physical as it appears – but will impact the people of Trench Town and its surrounding communities,” Mr. Bartlett said.
He outlined that the scope of work included the construction of a new perimeter fence along the southern boundary of First Street; the removal of informal vending stalls from the area designated for sidewalk; the creation of formal learning spaces for displaced individuals as well as the construction of a brand-new sidewalk.
“This work will enhance the ambience of First Street, and in particular the world-famous Trench Town Culture Yard – a National Heritage Site – which as we know was home to Bob Marley in his early life,” the Minister added.
Mr. Bartlett further pointed out that the development of human capital is very important to the tourism sector.
“I know that there are many skilled and talented individuals residing in this community. We’re pleased to provide formal vending stores to seven business persons,” Minister Bartlett said, adding that it will allow for the continued engagement in productive activities, most of which provide a source of livelihood for several residents.
Mr. Bartlett also encouraged the residents of Trench Town to take care of the new facility and to treat it with respect and pride.
“I encourage you to use it to the best of your ability for both recreational and productive purposes. Take the time to find your skills and see how best you can contribute to your own personal growth and that of your country,” he added.
For his part, Acting Executive Director of TPDCo, Stephen Edwards, credited the support of the community and the hard work of the TPDCo team during the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, for the completion of the project “on time and under budget”.
“We at TPDCo are extremely proud of the work that we have done with this park because it lives up to the commitment that our projects will result in the improved quality of life, not just for some but for all Jamaicans,” he added, noting that the Trench Town Entertainment Park is a development in Jamaica’s tourism infrastructure, which is also an investment in the people of Trench Town.
By Candice Stewart & Shanna K. Salmon for Jamaica Information Service