If everything goes according to plan, in the near future, Barbadians will have another venue to add to their Crop Over locations – Archers Bay in St. Lucy.
Minister of Culture, Stephen Lashley, made this disclosure yesterday following a site visit to the North Point Surf Resort and Archers Bay in St. Lucy.
He was accompanied by Minister of Housing, Lands and Rural Development, Denis Kellman, and officials from both ministries.
Noting that Archers Bay was a popular venue for excursions and a favourite of visitors, Mr. Lashley said that it was Government???s policy to further decentralise Crop Over events, and disclosed that the National Cultural Foundation would be working to make this a reality.
???We???ve been doing quite a bit over the last five years to make sure that Crop Over is rooted in the communities and we???ve done that successfully through the Cavalcades, but there are other events that we???ve been encouraging community groups to stage and to occupy spaces that can bring the Crop Over spirit back into the communities. So this venue will be one that we???ve been looking at in terms of future Crop Over events,??? he explained.
He added that as a result of the popularity of the location, the Ministry of Housing and Lands, through the Rural Development Commission, has made the site more accessible to the public by constructing a paved staircase to the beach.
Lands Minister and Member of Parliament for the Constituency, Denis Kellman, said it was Calypsonian Pitchup???s idea to have a Crop Over event at Archers Bay.?????He felt that in the north of Barbados this was the best location for Crop Over and we should utilise it. I have offered it to the present Minister and he quickly recognised the potential. He is on board with it,??? he noted.
Mr. Kellman said that during debate on the Cultural Industries Development Bill, he stated that it was important to have an agency such as the Rural
Development Commission involved in the infrastructural work as a way of enhancing cultural industry tourism, agriculture, sports, and manufacturing.
He said community tourism was essential as a way of empowering the citizens of Barbados and creating opportunities for economic enhancement. He added that the Rural Development Commission would assist with facilitating the synergies with other ministries.
???It???s a daily thing for tourists to come here (Archers Bay) even before they had the stairs and it is these opportunities that we (Government) are creating??? This is the beginning of the National Park of Barbados, which means that Government is responsible for building the National Park. Government must also recognise that there???s an economic return to be shared with the masses in Barbados and this is what we have from Archers Bay to Consett Bay, so that the individuals in the area can create job opportunities for themselves and their families,??? he explained.
The Lands Minister noted that Government was quietly ???pushing ahead??? with a number of projects for the socio-economic benefit of Barbadians, including the development of Speightstown and Archers Bay.