Dubbed the oldest and the first to receive many technological advances, Black River in St. Elizabeth has added even more practical features to the busy town centre. A project administered by the Tourism Product Development Company Limited (TPDCo) and executed by the St. Elizabeth Municipal Corporation saw the completion of a streetscape, a new sea wall and an earth drain to the sea.
Completed at a cost of twenty-five million dollars, the objectives of the project include enhancing the aesthetic appeal of the town centre, providing a wider and safe area for pedestrians to traverse the town all while fixing underlying drainage issues and regularizing the main bus stop in-front of the J.A.G Myers Municipal Park. The town centre, which is located along the high street and is known to be highly traversed, will now be able to have greater functionality and will be even more appealing to local and foreign visitors.
Minister of Tourism, Hon Edmund Bartlett, who recently toured the improvement works and cut the official ribbon to signify the completion of the project said “the streetscaping of Black River is part of a wider vision to improve the aesthetics of the town. This was not just money well spent, but it has created an important asset facilitation that is enabling the town to really boast in having walkable spaces, that is so important for the safety of the people that live in the area, as well as visitors who have to traverse this historic town.”
According to an elated Member of Parliament, Minister of State in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Agriculture, Hon Floyd Green: “It really does solve some of the big problems we have been having in Black River. We want to see Black River capture pride of place in terms of the cultural heritage tourism market. These improvements facilitate the walking tour market which allows our trained tour guides to share the history of the town. This sort of tourism that we have to share, is experiential tourism which will ensure that people come, stay and take in our culture and heritage.”
The improvements which began before the onset of the COVID -19 pandemic will allow for further bolstering of the town’s environmental tourism features, being unique river and safari tours. Additionally, with the new upgrades potentially attracting more visitors, the heritage component of tourism, a new focus being emphasized by TPDCo, is set to gain more attention, thereby impacting locals.