The Urban Development Corporation (UDC) is currently leading a team of core government agencies to transform the town of Falmouth and its environs as it develops into a cruise ship destination.
The agencies involved in this partnership include the Port Authority of Jamaica, National Works Agency, Tourism Product Development Company, Social Development Commission, Jamaica National Heritage Trust, the Trelawny Parish Council, and the HEART Trust NTA.
Other stakeholders include the Jamaica Fire Brigade, National Water Commission, Ministry of Water and Housing, Housing Agency of Jamaica, Ministry of Health, Jamaica National Heritage Trust, Royal Caribbean Cruise Line Ltd, the National Solid Waste Management Authority and Falmouth Heritage Renewal
According to Lenworth Tracey, Deputy General Manager, Economic Development and Corporate Relations, ‘the UDC, cognisant of the invaluable role that local residents must play in creating a new Falmouth, has also forged strategic alliances with religious organisations, the business sector and community interest groups in Falmouth and its environs’.
The National Works Agency is currently implementing a J$30 million dollar road and drainage rehabilitation programme in Falmouth in conjunction with the Trelawny Parish Council and the Trelawny Police.
Meanwhile, the Tourism Product Development Corporation (TPDCo) is implementing three landscaping contracts with a combined value of approximately J$23,289,830M. The agency has also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Jamaica National Heritage Trust (JNHT) for the installation of storyboards at a value of J$1M.
The UDC, working in partnership with the Social Development Commission (SDC), TPDCo and HEART Trust/NTA, is also tasked with the responsibility of ensuring that a wide cross section of Trelawny residents are exposed to Service Sector and Tourism Product Knowledge training.
Tracey noted that “…this is deemed necessary to improve the receptiveness of our visitors to our cultural displays and commercial offerings, which in return will maximise the economic benefit from cruise passengers to the people of Falmouth”.
The Heart Trust NTA is overseeing the training and certification of residents in the various skills necessary to support the hospitality industry. The Social Development Commission (SDC) is also currently engaged in sensitising and mobilizing communities to take advantage of the various opportunities.
In March 2010, Prime Minister the Hon Orette Golding mandated the UDC in collaboration with other partner government agencies to lead efforts aimed at upgrading the Historic Town of Falmouth ahead of its transformation as a cruise ship destination and also to create development plans for the “Greater Falmouth” area.