ARC chairman calls for creation of design districts

ARC chairman calls for creation of design districts

Observer writer

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

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Executive chairman of ARC Manufacturing Norman Horne is calling for the Government of Jamaica to legislate the creation of “design districts” in Jamaica.

“Our zoning laws should be amended to create an environment in Jamaica, albeit a street, a couple of streets or an area that is called the design district. But only people who are participating in the creative industries should be allowed to rent, lease or buy spaces to distribute, market and sell their products and services in that specific area,” Horne stated in his address, during ARC Manufacturing's Build on Quality Showcase, held at its Bell Road headquarters in Kingston

He added that the design district would also be a space where entertainers and culinary artists can ply their trade.

ARC Manufacturing's Build on Quality Showcase, which included a tour of the company's manufacturing plant, forms part of Jamaica Observer's Design Week.

Horne, a former senator, noted that he is willing to invest his influence to agitate the Government for the formation of a design district to house the “creativity and knowledge” of Jamaicans who are so inclined. He also invited guests at the showcase to do likewise, incuding Member of Parliament for St Andrew South Western Angela Brown Burke — and a former mayor of Kingston & St Andrew — in whose constituency ARC Manufacturing is based.

The executive chairman remarked that the concept of Design Week will be one he will “try to entrench” in the company's culture for years to come.

Also speaking at the showcase, Jamaica Observer Senior Associate Editor – Lifestyle and Social Content Novia McDonald-Whyte said Design Week was conceptualised to provide people and companies in the construction and interior design space with exposure to the wider Jamaica. This, she said, was the missing link in the newspaper's lifestyle brand.

“We have food and we have fashion,” McDonald-Whyte commented. “What was missing was a platform for individuals like Norman Horne to open his doors and show people what happens here [at ARC Manufacturing].”

Moreover, she explained that Design Week seeks to inform the Jamaican populace about the level of investment made by ARC Manufacturing, and individuals who operate in the design sector, adding, “People are impressed with the plethora of designers we have in Jamaica.”

Located on 18 acres of land north of Kingston Harbour, ARC Manufacturing specialises in the manufacturing and distribution of building materials, including nails, binding wires, barbed wire, industrial zinc, roofing tiles, among other products. Founded in 1996, the company now employs more than 300 staff members and operates a sales office, warehouse and distribution hub in Montego Bay.

ARC is an ISO 9001 certified company, and its lumber treatment plant is the first of its kind in Jamaica.

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