Prime Minister David Thompson is pictured as he delivered the feature address at the ground-breaking ceremony for Pickering Development Court 1 in St.Lucy, last Sunday.

The parish of St. Lucy will be the home of a massive development project that will generate millions of dollars in revenue, employ hundreds of persons and stimulate the socio-economic development of the entire northern section of Barbados.

This was disclosed by Prime Minister David Thompson last Saturday, at a ground breaking ceremony to mark Phase 1 of the Pickering Housing and Town Centre Development in St. Lucy.

He said: "At a time when foreign investment is desperately needed, this project will generate US $800 million, of which US $500 million will be from sales to non-residents. The project will employ some 600 persons at the peak of construction and provide sustainable employment opportunities for 300 persons to support residential and business aspects of the development."

??Mr. Thompson stated that the venture would comprise one of the largest residential projects to be undertaken on the island and was consistent with Government’s policy of ensuring that the tourism industry "becomes everybody’s business".??

He also indicated that Government would realise increasing revenue in the construction phase, from payroll taxes, property taxes, VAT, income tax and transport services.

"It will, therefore, capitalise on the enormous potential of this beautiful parish. It will involve the opening up of heritage sites and the careful enhancement of existing sites like River Bay, Cove Bay and Archers Bay. Major development will also take place at Harrison’s Point and North Point," Mr. Thompson noted.

The Prime Minister further pointed out that it would also result in the expansion of Speighstown, Six Men’s, Half Moon Fort and the surrounding areas. "The ripple effect in my view of this project, will reach beyond the boundaries of St. Lucy, and affect all areas of the north of Barbados," he underscored.

Mr. Thompson stressed that the project was designed to ensure St. Lucy ceased to be among the Cinderella parishes of Barbados. He asserted that it would lead to making life better for Barbadians everywhere and reducing traffic congestion in and around Bridgetown.

The Pickering Development, the Prime Minister stated would concentrate on maintaining green themes and aesthetics, and "the creation of a healthy, holistic, community, which would provide a safe, comfortable and neighborly environment, where people can stay, play, shop, commute and educate their young children".

The initiative, which falls within the 2003 amended Physical Development Plan of Barbados, was a major promise made in the Throne Speech of February 2008.

The project will feature, among other things, a heritage site,1200 residential homes, a commercial centre, fish farm, a civic complex, lakes, parks, an amphitheatre, a waste treatment plant, a school and gift shops.??

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