Monday 23 April, 2018

Port Royal redevelopment underway – Holness

Photo of Giddy House, Port Royal via the Jamaica Information Service.

Photo of Giddy House, Port Royal via the Jamaica Information Service.

The long talked about Port Royal redevelopment that will see the return of cruise ships to Kingston, is finally getting off the ground Prime Minister Andrew Holness has revealed.

Making his contribution Tuesday to the 2018/2019 Budget debate, the Prime Minister said ‘’we have been talking about this for years, for years, for years.” He said it was “time for action,”

In making the case for the development, Holness described Port Royal as one of the most fascinating locations in the entire Caribbean with well over 500 years of incredible history full of the most interesting characters to ever live,”

He made particular mention of the sunken city that has sat below the waters for over 300 years following the devastating earthquake of 1692. He said it was an “asset to Jamaica” that has sat “silently waiting.”

The prime minister said the Port Authority of Jamaica (PAJ) has identified modern technology that will allow berthing of cruise ships “while being highly respectful of the fragile and extremely important environment in Port Royal with specific reference to the sunken city.”

He said the technology to be used has already received the support of the National Environment and Planning Agency and the Jamaica National Heritage Trust.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness

The PAJ is responsible for the construction of the berth and the related infrastructure. Holness, revealed that the berth has already been ordered and is under construction. He said technical work and engineering designs for the land side activities are at an advanced stage of completion.

Holness said he has seen some of the plans which he described as excellent. “They have gone to great lengths to preserve the authenticity …to include the residents so that they are a part of the authentic product and to preserve the environment,” he said.

He also said provisions will be made to ferry guests across the Kingston harbour to numerous attractions on the city side.

The Port Royal redevelopment project has been on the drawing table for close to 30 years. It has been led by Director of the Port Royal Redevelopment Company, Robert Stephens, who has been frustrated by successive governments in his efforts to have the plan realized, a plan that could provide significant employment for Kingston and Port Royal.