The Ministry of Local Government and Community Development and the St. Elizabeth Parish Council, in partnership with Ministry of Tourism and Entertainment and the Tourism Enhancement Fund, signed a contract for the construction of 170 stalls at the newly rehabilitated Black River Market. The contract was officially awarded to Tank Weld at an official signing ceremony held at the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development on Wednesday, April 16, 2014. This signifies the start of Phase 2 of the rehabilitation process, as Phase 1 was recently completed at a cost of $31.5 million
The Ministry has been collaborating with the local authorities to identify and develop key strategic markets across the Island. The parochial markets, which are operated by the Councils and centrally positioned across the parishes, are critical for the support of a number of stakeholders who rely on these facilities to improve their economic and social well-being. 25 key markets have been identified for rehabilitation, and will be undertaken by the Ministry, in conjunction with the respective local authorities. The project in Black River is the first to be implemented.
At the contract signing ceremony, Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Honorable Noel Arscott, reminded persons of the importance of maintaining the country’s infrastructures. He affirmed that ‘we have to understand how important the improvement and maintenance of these infrastructures are to the sustainable growth and development of the local economy. After the Technical Team has done their part, it is up to the necessary stakeholders to preserve the physical and organizational structure of the market.’
The final phase of the project, comprising of the construction of proper sanitary convenience and the meat and fish market, is expected to begin as soon as Phase 2 is completed.