Rehabilitate the Sav fort, urges PNP rep
SAVANNA-LA-MAR, Westmoreland — People’s National Party (PNP) candidate for the Savanna-la-Mar Division, Julian Chang is clamouring for the old fort here in Savanna-la-Mar to be rehabilitated so as to boost employment and attract additional revenue for the town, which she envisions becoming a tourist hot spot.
“We can open the fort and we can have foreign exchange coming into Savanna-la-Mar. Savanna-la-Mar is a beautiful place situated by the ocean and I believe that we can bring cruise ships here, right by the fort,” Chang said as orange-clad party supporters applauded at a PNP meeting at Manning’s School on Sunday.
She was referring to downtown Great George Street, which was well developed in the era when sugar was vital to the parish. At that time the fort was used as a loading dock by the then West Indies Sugar Company.
“The fort bears great history and has long been forgotten since the sugar industry has collapsed. The town of Savanna-la-Mar needs to be rehabilitated and it can be one of the main tourist attractions in the town, providing revenue and generating employment within the tourism sector,” Chang said.
“I’m calling on Edmund Bartlett, minister of tourism, to think about it because it will change the face of Savanna-la-Mar and contribute to the economy and Jamaica as a whole,” she pleaded.
She envisions a modern restaurant and cottage industries at the fort. She said popular tourist attractions, such as Mayfield Falls and others in the area, could also benefit if her suggestion is taken seriously by the tourism ministry.
While conceding that the area has been plagued by crime over the years, Chang stressed that a transformation of the fort would bring hope to the community and help counter crime.
“With the sort of revenue coming in it will also help to cut down crime as long as the police do what they have to do. A lot of time crime is generated from lack of hope, lack of jobs,” she stressed.
Over the years, prominent stakeholders have made similar calls for the development of the fort but to date no changes have been made.