A wide cross section of Jamaicans turned out to support a Community Expo which was held by the Urban Development Corporation (UDC) in collaboration with the Trelawny Parish Council and other partner agencies at Water Square in Falmouth on Saturday, July 24.
The objective of the Expo was to inform the various interest groups inclusive of residents of Falmouth and surrounding towns, business, civic and religious groups of plans for the upgrading of the town. Persons were able to access information regarding training, financial, employment and training opportunities. Participating agencies in the Expo included Heart Trust NTA, Social Development Commission, Tourism Product Development Company, Port Authority of Jamaica and Royal Caribbean Cruise Limited.
The upgrading of the town is being carried out ahead of the arrival of the world’s largest cruise ship, the Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas scheduled for early 2011. This is intended to complement the port development being undertaken by the Port Authority of Jamaica and Royal Caribbean Cruise Limited.
Speaking at the event, General Manager of the UDC, Joy Douglas indicated that by November of this year the town can expect to start welcoming the first arrivals. She further added “The potential of this development is almost boundless. However, as important as the cruise development is, it is equally important that the rest of the town be placed in a state of readiness to complement the new development and to receive the visitors.”
In order to prepare the town for the arrival of the visitors, the Historic Falmouth Town Centre Upgrading Programme will be implemented. This programme will result in limited landscaping and beautification projects which will be undertaken by the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo) primarily in and around Water Square and improved traffic management.
Plans are also underway for the declaration of Falmouth as a UDC designated area. Prime Minister the Hon. Bruce Golding, who is also portfolio Minister for the UDC, has also entrusted the Corporation with the responsibility of co-ordinating, developing and implementing an Integrated Master Plan for the Greater Falmouth area.
The UDC in fulfilling this mandate is utilizing a multi-agency collaborative approach and several key stakeholders have united to draft the Greater Falmouth Redevelopment Plan 2010-2030, which will guide the town’s redevelopment.