The Urban Development Corporation (UDC), the Port Authority of Jamaica and the Ministries of Transport and Works and Agriculture and Fisheries participated in a consultative meeting with fisherfolk from the Sailor’s Hole (Ocho Rios Fishing Village) on February 12, 2015 at the St. John’s Anglican Church in Ocho Rios, St. Ann. The meeting provided for discussion, a broad concept for developing the Fishing Village with works projected to start by February 2016.
The concept envisions upgrading the Ocho Rios Fishermen’s Village with the aim of transforming it into a premier facility for entertainment and dining for which the UDC developed the preliminary designs and provided technical support. The joint stakeholder group also saw representation from the St. Ann Parish Council as His Worship Councillor Desmond Gilmore, Mayor of St. Ann’s Bay chaired the proceedings with input from the Hon Morais Guy, Minister without Portfolio, Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing, Hon Luther Buchanan, Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Mrs Shahine Robinson, Member of Parliament and Councillor Dr Rohan Williams.
The other members of the team were, Professor Gordon Shirley, Chairman and Mervis Edghill, Senior Vice President, Engineering and Port Development both of Port Authority of Jamaica, Chairman of the UDC, Senator K D Knight and General Manager, Mr Desmond Malcolm.
The fisherfolk were receptive of the meeting and generally agreed that there was need to develop the beach with the requirement that the continued development of their livelihood play a part in any design concept that will be finalised. According to Alfred Gordon, Secretary of the Sailor’s Hole Fishing Group, they are committed to advancing their ideas for the facility in the follow up stakeholder sessions.
Senator KD Knight, Chairman of the UDC Board in his remarks reassured the Fisherfolk that the intention was to integrate them in the upgrading of the facility and that the activities must be guided by discipline and order.
In his presentation, Desmond Malcolm, UDC General Manager pointed to the work of the UDC through its community integration manager which has been meeting with the fisherfolk and keeping them updated on the ideal framework which should govern the development of the facility. UDC developed the designs and provided technical support during the initial phase.
As proof of the Corporation’s commitment to enhance the areas connected to the Fishing Village, Mr. Malcolm pointed to the completion of the adjacent Turtle River Road, a project designed and managed by the UDC on behalf of the Port Authority of Jamaica.
Overall Funding for Turtle River Road and the work inside the Ocho Rios Pier Terminal Compound have been jointly sponsored by the Tourism Enhancement Fund and PAJ.
Plans for the upgrading include Ocho Rios Fishing Village to be developed in line with the overall vision for Ocho Rios as a world class town for residents and a destination of choice for visitors; safe, secure and aesthetically pleasing, with the fishing village being a critical part of the experience.
The planned makeover of Ocho Rios revolves around transforming the resort town, by enriching and highlighting the rustic charm and rich cultural heritage of the area, while also offering convenient access to shops, authentic cuisine, music and entertainment along with other amenities that will leave all our visitors, from home and abroad with unforgettable and treasured experience.
The Urban Development Corporation has been working in Ocho Rios since the 1960’s and has helped to transform Ocho Rios from a sleepy fishing village into the bustling town that you are now experiencing today.