Work on the Church Village Redevelopment Project in The City has commenced.

This disclosure has come from Project Officer at the Barbados Tourism Investment Inc. (BTI), Sharon Griffith, who said the multi-million dollar project, which is being funded by the Caribbean Development Bank, started on April 24 and would be completed in eight to nine months.

Ms. Griffith further disclosed that it would involve the construction of an amphitheatre, where cultural shows will be held, and a green space. "The amphitheatre will seat about 199 persons and accommodate over 1,000 persons standing. Other features within the green space will be a pond and a causeway, which will have a bridge to connect Queen’s Park, Church Village, the Masonic Lodge and the Central Bank’s Courtyard.

"One of the primary features that we are going to try to preserve within the park, in keeping with the UNESCO requirements, is that of a footprint of Lucas Street which runs through the centre of the Park," she explained.??

According to her, the park will be powered fully by solar and monitored 24-hours by closed-circuit television from the Central Bank and also the Royal Barbados Police Force. In addition, she stated, features from the former village, namely the steps of a chattel house and a thatch roof, would be included in the park’s design.

The Project Officer said one of the future plans for the park was to encourage the inclusion of interpretive signage that outlines the history of the area, so the memory of Church Village would not be lost. "This [signage] would also enhance the work at the Masonic Lodge by the Central Bank because it will be opened as a museum, so the two spaces will complement each other," she added.

Giving the background to the project, which is part of the Urban Rehabilitation Programme, Ms. Griffith stated: "This was conceptualised in the 1980s when the Central Bank was designed and constructed. The redevelopment of Church Village is supposed to enhance the surroundings of the Central Bank and be a civic and green space for the people of Barbados to enjoy. As part of the Bridgetown redevelopment project, the area will serve as a space to present cultural shows."

Kent Construction is the contractor on site with responsibility for civil works, with Nature Group Limited being the landscape contractor. The consultants are Consultant Engineering Partnership and Talma Mill Studios. ?????????????? ??

Meanwhile, Ms. Griffith urged motorists to adhere to the signs indicating no parking in and around the construction zone. "We would like pedestrians also to be cautious when they are traversing the area because construction vehicles are entering and leaving the site," she warned.


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