New lights for National Stadium
The National Stadium redevelopment project is taking off and Emera in association with the Barbados Light and Power (BL&P) has come on board and invested half a million dollars to facilitate floodlights at the sports facility.
This morning Minister of Sports, Youth and Culture Stephen Lashley signed a Memorandum of Understanding with president and chairman of Emera Caribbean Limited, Sarah MacDonald, worth $646,856, to go towards the project.
According to Lashley the project should commence around March and he gave the assurance that all parties involved would meet beforehand to schedule the work properly so it would not interfere with the National Primary Schools Athletic Championship (NAPSAC) or the Barbados Secondary Schools Athletics Championship (BSSAC) which usually takes place around that time of the year.
“The technical team will meet and resolve all issues as it relates to scheduling the project. We will schedule the project in a manner that does not conflict with any engagements at the National Sports Council and of course we continue to dialogue with all parties. But we will do it in a manner that does not affect or encroach on anything that is scheduled to be held, including NAPSAC or BSSCAC.”
The minister said the project would deal specifically with the floodlights and also involved structural reinforcement.
Two years ago Government installed a new track at the National Stadium and Lashley explained that Government was moving towards providing a better sports offering on the island. He said there was a need to invest and reinvest for the economy to develop and sports would be one such pillar which could do that.
“We have to reinvest and invest in order to reshape and redevelop our economy and sports has the potential to be one of the key pillars of that restructuring of the Barbados economy. We feel that a new National Stadium that is equipped to do all of the necessary sporting events that we know can come to Barbados is key to that.”
In her remarks MacDonald said she hoped that Emera’s initial investment would challenge other businesses on the island to take the same approach.
“We hope that our initial investment will challenge some of the other businesses on the island to take the same approach and continue to support sports and youth particularly in the community. We do believe even in tough economic times it is a key part of bringing back an economy and making sure that your youth stay engaged and interested and move things forward because it adds a lot of value to the community,” she said.