Wednesday 23 October, 2019

‘Good Years’ ahead for St Thomas: Morant Bay Centre on the horizon

Prime Minister Andrew Holness is to break ground for the project on Wednesday.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness is to break ground for the project on Wednesday.

Approximately 3,000 jobs are to become available to the people of St Thomas through the development of the Morant Bay Urban Centre on the site of the old Goodyear factory in the town.

That’s according to Lyttelton Shirley, Chairman of Factories Corporation of Jamaica (FCJ) Limited.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness is to break ground for the project on Wednesday morning in a ceremony that is scheduled to begin at 10:00 a.m. He is to be joined by several other Government and private sector leaders, as well as the Chinese Ambassador to Jamaica, Tian Qi.

The 350,000 square-foot facility is to be developed by the FCJ and financed through a joint venture partnership between the FCJ and China Harbour Engineering Company Limited (CHEC). It will be made up of light manufacturing, industrial, commercial and retail facilities.

“This development will take place over the next two years as FCJ seeks to satisfy the demand for space while  fulfilling its mandate of supporting the Government of Jamaica’s economic growth and
job creation agenda,” the FCJ said in a statement on Monday.

It added that “The Morant Bay Urban Centre has been described as a game changer for the people of St Thomas.

“This ‘one-stop-shop’ will see the amalgamation of the services provided by the Government and the
private sector.”

The St Thomas Municipal Corporation, along with a town hall and a conference centre, are among the entities to be housed at the urban centre. There are also to be a family court, parish court, tax office, the Registrar General’s Department and the Passport Citizenship and Immigration Agency, PICA.

The Morant Bay Urban Centre is also to house financial institutions, a library and space for tertiary institutions, a medical centre, a wellness centre, a daycare, a food court and shopping facilities. There is also to be space for business process outsourcing (BPO) facilities.

The development is also to be complemented by social amenities, such as a museum and a recreational park.

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