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Rural and coastal towns targeted for development

Monday, June 18, 2018

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CHAIRMAN of the Factories Corporation of Jamaica (FCJ), Lyttleton Shirley, says the country's rural and coastal towns are being targeted as Government moves to boost economic and social opportunities for citizens.

He said that Port Antonio, Falmouth, Port Maria, Lucea, Savanna-la-Mar and Morant Bay are some of the towns that have been earmarked for development.

“The prime minister, in what can only be considered as a game-changing vision, has set his sights on the renewal and development of rural towns to reflect social order, security, investment and job creation,” he said, while addressing the 2018 Jamaica Investment Forum (JIF) at the Montego Bay Convention Centre on June 14.

He noted that Morant Bay has been selected as the pilot “for this renaissance”, through the proposed $4-billion Morant Bay Urban Centre.

The new urban centre will be established just outside the existing town on the 25-acre property where the old Goodyear factory is located.

It will be developed as an integrated business complex providing financial, medical and educational services, and commercial and industrial spaces for small and medium-sized entities.

Included will be key public sector services such as the parish courthouse, the tax office, the municipal corporation and the Registrar General's Department.

“There will also be a heritage park and a museum to highlight the rich history of St Thomas,” Shirley said.

Approximately 150,000 square feet of space will be reserved for business process outsourcing, which will provide opportunities for investment and employment.

“The Morant Bay Urban Centre and the new (southern coastal) highway project will definitely provide the catalyst for new investment in St Thomas which, further, can include the development of Bowden Wharf, Cow Bay, general housing developments and, most importantly, the establishment of a vibrant tourist destination utilising some of Jamaica's most beautiful beachfront,” Shirley said.

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