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Minister of Family, Culture, Sports and Youth, Stephen Lashley, in discussion with Permanent Secretary in his Ministry, Shirley Farnum, and Trainee Property Manager in the Ministry of Housing and Lands, Brian Hinds, during today’s tour of Lower Estate. (A.Gaskin/BGIS)

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Officials in the Ministry with responsibility for culture are continuing to look for the best location where a state-of-the-art Cultural Centre can be constructed for Barbados.

And, the Minister of Family, Culture, Sports and Youth, Stephen Lashley,?? is hopeful that within four weeks he would be in a position to make a recommendation to Cabinet, so planning could move to another stage.

Mr. Lashley made the comments today after visiting an area at Lower Estate, St. Michael, in an effort to identify land where the Centre would be constructed by the Government of the People’s Republic of China. The other areas he also visited were: Deacons and Codrington, both in St. Michael, as well as Kendal Hill, Christ Church and West Terrace, St. James.

"We need to have the ideal location that facilitates such a Cultural Centre and we have to take a number of factors into account, one of them being the traffic flow. We don’t want to have a Cultural Centre in the middle of a very high traffic area, because this would compound several issues, not only in getting to the Centre, but parking…??

We want to find the best location for the Centre … for the long-term future of this part of the cultural development of Barbados," he stressed.

He pointed out that officials from the Ministry of Housing and Lands had been assisting in the identification of possible locations and "as many places as they have available" would be examined.

Mr. Lashley disclosed that "when the land is found", Government officials would meet with representatives of the Government of the People’s Republic of China to agree on project details, including the commencement date for the project.

The Cultural Centre will be the home of the arts, particularly the performing arts. The Minister said: "We recognise we still have a lack of key facilities in Barbados to facilitate the creative arts… Of course, this is going to be a state-of-the-art facility, with modern infrastructure and communication facilities to offer all that is necessary to enhance performances…

"So, we are looking at a very top notch Centre, so we can further develop this sector of the cultural industries," he explained.

It was announced in this year’s Budgetary Proposals that government would be pressing ahead with the construction of the Cultural Centre.

sharon.austingill-moore@barbados.gov.bb

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