More public parks to be developed across the island – PM
KINGSTON, Jamaica – The Government will be undertaking a programme for the establishment of parks across the island that will create space for recreation and wellness.
Prime Minister Andrew Holness, who made the disclosure at Wednesday’s launch of the $4.4-billion Portmore Resilience Park in St Catherine, said he will outline further details on parks in his upcoming Budget presentation.
“We have a few more parks to come. The idea is that every parish in Jamaica should have one such park, so I have asked the Urban Development Corporation (UDC) to actively search for lands in all the parishes to create such parks,” he said.
“We will be doing more parks for Jamaica, and that is part of building the caring economy,” the prime minister added.
Noting the Government’s commitment to the development of key, critical infrastructure, he said that as the economy continues to grow, investment will be made in creating social spaces that will benefit Jamaicans.
To be situated at Lot 26, Portmore Town Centre, the Portmore Resilience Park will serve as a hub for recreation, sports, wellness, and entertainment.
It will feature hard and soft landscaping, sporting facilities, event spaces, commercial areas, public restrooms, security features, parking, a 700-metre jogging trail, signs and interactive equipment.
The park will be climate smart, with green technology, electric vehicle charging station, and rainwater harvesting.
Construction is expected to begin in February 2024 and is slated for completion in September 2025.
The investment will generate over 400 direct and more than 200 indirect job opportunities during construction, while more than 100 persons will be employed during the operational phase.
Holness said access to the park will be free.
“This is a massive investment…all of this is coming from the budget of the Government of Jamaica. We are not borrowing to do this. The caring economy that we are building today is exemplified by this park,” he noted.
The prime minister said the facility will have a signal impact on the minds and psyche of citizens.
“The intention is to use the park to change the attitudes of Jamaicans towards waste disposal, protecting the environment and increasing the understanding of climate change. There is no doubt that this park will create significant economic activity in Portmore and it will increase the value of all the properties around the park, but most importantly, I think it will improve how each resident of Portmore feels about themselves and their community,” he contended.
The prime minister said the Government remains committed to the buildout of key critical infrastructure in Portmore, including but not limited to a well-defined market space and a type five health facility.
Mayor of Portmore, Leon Thomas, in his remarks, said members of the municipality are committed to working for the betterment of the citizens of the municipality. He said the park will be beneficial for all residents and visitors.
Member of Parliament for St Catherine South Eastern, Robert Miller, welcomed the project. “It’s a good day for Portmore and I look forward to the project proceeding apace,” he said.
The Portmore Resilience Park will cover approximately 21.25 acres within the 26-acre lot, with 2.75 acres reserved for a commercial development in the near term. The remaining acres is set aside for the establishment of a transport hub by the Ministry of Science, Energy, Telecommunications and Transport.
The launch ceremony also included the signing of contract with contractors Pave-Con Limited.
The resilience park is a project of the Government of Jamaica through the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation and the UDC.