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Invest in the Restoration of Historic Bridgetown

Invest in the Restoration of Historic Bridgetown

Posted by Shanelle Weir on June 23, 2014

Greater investment by the private sector in the restoration efforts in Historic Bridgetown is very important and clearly needed. 

So says historian Dr. Henderson Carter as he delivered the lecture, ‘Bridgetown: Our Cosmopolitan City of Commerce and Culture’ at the fourth First Citizens Investment Services Crop Over 2014 Heritage Lecture and Tour, which was presented by the National Cultural Foundation (NCF).

Carter noted, “We want the private sector to come out and see it as an investment, not throwing money in a hole.”

Using the newly renovated Church Village Greens as an example, he lauded the efforts to rectify what he termed as “a glaring contradiction”, which saw a slum area next to the Central Bank, which is Barbados’ tallest and most prestigious building. He also made noted of the Constitution River project and commended the efforts to restore the river and the embankment. 

He noted that this was something that should be replicated in other areas, as well as with the Screw Dock, which he stated should be fully restored and used as a selling point in the country’s heritage tourism thrust. Other buildings he would like to see restored were the Carnegie Free Library and the Empire Theatre, which he explained was where the first stone in the riots of 1937 was thrown.

Explaining that when businessmen invest, it will bring people and business to the City, he also insisted that efforts were needed to had to make the City work for everyone, including entrepreneurs.

“I believe entrepreneurs have not really been fully sold to that idea of how the City can work for them, so that you find these pockets where old properties are being destroyed and even though there is a lot of hype about it, nothing is done, so that it is done with impunity,” he lamented, speaking on the recent destruction of a landmark in Baystreet.

“We must come to the point where we value our property so much that those persons who destroy it must be called to account. We’ve got to do better and I hope the authorities, the people in charge of preserving the City are listening because as I said, we can’t destroy our gold field. We can’t do it!” he stressed.

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