Basseterre, St. Kitts, May 23, 2017 (SKNIS): Refurbishment of the South Frigate Bay Area, specifically in the region of “De Strip”, continues to progress, says Minister of Tourism, Honourable Lindsay Grant, during a sitting of Parliament on May 23, adding that efforts are being made for the “De Strip” to realize its full potential.
“De Strip” is currently home to approximately twelve business establishments, each offering entertainment, tropical beach bars and restaurants.
Minister Grant said that despite its current popularity, development of the strip was “not as deliberate as it could have been. Additionally, owing to a number of unfortunate incidents at the venue, there have been concerns regarding the safety and the security of patrons and operators and certainly there was definitely room for improvement.”
The Ministry of Tourism therefore commissioned a report by APLOMB360, which provided an analysis of the existing conditions, he said. It then made recommendations on what could be done to realize the full potential of the major attraction.
The South Frigate Bay Enhancement Project was commissioned in November 2016 to revitalize the strip experience, making it more viable and sustainable by improving its infrastructure, security, and its identity on a whole, said Minister Grant.
“The Federal Government of St. Kitts and Nevis and the Caribbean Development Fund (CDF) are jointly funding this project to the tune of approximately $7,474,694,” he revealed. “When completed it would include, but not limited to entrance and exit roundabouts, paved roads and sidewalks with wheelchair access; pickup and drop off points; unit entrance porticos; garbage enclosures; toilet blocks; gazebos; landscaping; street lights and turtle friendly beachside lighting; boardwalks; designated parking; signage and improved security including CCTV; outpost management office; marsh enhancement features; jogging trails and beach reclamation and replenishment and development of the dock and the jetty that are presently at Frigate Bay.”
It was noted by the tourism minister that the total cost for the project, which will be done in two to three phases at the start, is approximately $3,227,694 of which the federal government has put in $2 million and the CDF has given a grant of $1, 227,795.
The Ministry of Tourism is the executing agency and has technical support from the Public Works Department and the Ministry of Sustainable Development, the minister explained. The project is also benefiting from the oversight and guidance from the Programme Management Committee (PMC), which is comprised of senior officials, both from the private and public sector, reflecting the crosscutting nature of the tourism sector.
Minister Grant said that as of May 2017 most of the infrastructure has been completed. These include the completion of roads, sidewalks and wheelchair access and ramps.
Also completed are delivery and pickup points, the extensive network of underground water, sewage and electrical lines and the entrance roundabout all to the tune, to date, in the sum of $2,523,906.
The minister said that the parking area is to be completed and as preparations begin to embark on the next phase, all these elements will be finalized.