The Historic Garrison area is about to take on even more historical significance when at least 200 ft of the Garrison Tunnels are open to heritage lovers for tours in the future.
Consultant to the Barbados Garrison Historical Consortium (BGHC), Peter Stevens, said the entity would develop the Garrison into one of the top three premier heritage sites in the Caribbean by ???integrating the authenticity of the historic district with an economically self-sustainable future which should be great news to all government departments???.
Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Richard Sealy, Acting Permanent Secretary, Alies Jordan, and other officials, got a firsthand look at the tunnels and other proposed development of the area during a presentation and tour of one of the Garrison Tunnels, last Saturday at George Washington House.
Mr. Stevens said the tunnels, located under the Savannah, were ???completely built-up and hewn into the bedrock and kept at the top. And as you go further out of the Savannah, this tunnel goes over 3, 000 ft and we have eight more tunnels beyond this one???.
He explained that the tunnels would not be open to the public yet but visitors to George Washington House, could see the inside of the cave from a mounted big screen and follow the reports from President of the Consortium, James Blades, as he outlined the cave???s significance to Barbados??? heritage.
The Consultant also gave an update of the work and projects undertaken by the non-profit development corporation since its inception in 2006.??
These include the placement of bins and signage; the establishment of the Stables Caf??; the Changing of the Sentry; Dinner with George, which is an 18th Century-themed dinner put on during the winter season for specially invited guests; and Garrison tours for long-stay visitors and cruise ship passengers.??
Meanwhile, Minister Sealy said the tour provided a ???very good snapshot of what really lies under the ground in this Garrison area??? and disclosed that Government would invest in it to build up the island???s tourism product.
???I am also happy that the private, sector through the Tourism Development Corporation, is also actively looking at investing in it [Garrison Tunnels] because it is a worthwhile investment,??? he noted.
The BGHC is governed by a Board of Directors comprising representatives from a wide stakeholder base, including government, non-governmental organisations and private tourism interests.