Bridgetown dead

Lashley wants to liven up The City

The current state of Barbados’ capital city, Bridgetown, is the result of years of neglect, Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth Stephen Lashley has charged.

However, speaking in Parliament today, he said the Freundel Stuart administration was prepared to fix the problems.

Contributing to debate on a resolution for the vesting of approximately 534.5 square metres of Crown land in Bridgetown for a $14.5 million synagogue restoration project, he said one of the primary objectives was to create a multipurpose heritage attraction in Bridgetown.

“For quite some time there has been the clamour and certainly many persons have been talking about the fact that Bridgetown is fast becoming a dead city. Persons have observed that buildings are not being restored and a host of . . . comments that were designed, I believe, to bring attention to real issues facing Bridgetown,” said Lashley.

“I don’t believe we can put our heads in the sand and not recognize that over the years neglect has set in, in relation to the look and feel of Bridgetown,” he told members of Parliament, while suggesting that this was one reason the move was made to have Bridgetown and its Garrison listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site some years ago.

Lashley said Government was also committed to providing the necessary incentives – including relief from Value Added Tax and import duties – under the Cultural Industries Development Act as “encouragement to potential developers to proceed along the very important task of the refurbishment of cultural buildings and certainly sites of historic significance”.

However, Lashley said there was a need for more rapid response from Government once approval was given for the restoration of key cultural projects in Barbados.

“So we have agreed, both myself and the Minister of Finance [Chris Sinckler], that going forward we will have to map out a more rapid response to applications under the Cultural Industries Development Act. That is absolutely necessary if of course the key objectives of the legislation are to be met,” he said.

In her contribution to the debate, Member of Parliament for St Thomas Cynthia Forde spoke of the the need for more attractions in The City.

The Opposition MP recalled that Prime Minister Freundel Stuart had once stated that he would like to see another 40,000 visitors come to Barbados. She also acknowledged that Bridgetown and its historic Garrison had achieved the status of a World Heritage Site.

However, she pointed to the need for better lighting and properly paved roads in the City, saying “Bridgetown is looking a bit tacky.

“There are uneven sidewalks, potholes and poor signage. Lighting in some areas is poor. There are many pedestrians who have to walk from the upper bus stand to the lower bus stand under poor lighting,” she told the House.

Forde also complained that even Baxters Road, which was once a lively meeting point for many Barbadians, was today is a veritable ghost town at night. 

18 Responses to Bridgetown dead

  1. Joel C. Payne
    Joel C. Payne February 8, 2017 at 12:32 am

    Barbados is one of the only Caribbean capitals w/o a Mayor.

  2. Alex Alleynetr February 8, 2017 at 6:51 am

    The Politicians made sure they “kill” Baxters Road” and move all activities to Oistins.

  3. Alex Alleyne February 8, 2017 at 6:52 am

    The Politicians made sure they kill off Baxters Road and move the money making business to Oistins.

    • J. Payne February 8, 2017 at 12:19 pm

      I thought that was all de shootings?

  4. Alex Alleyne February 8, 2017 at 6:55 am

    The only thing livelyl in the city now is “picking fares”

  5. kathy-Ann Clarke February 8, 2017 at 7:54 am

    Lol, Alex Alleyne,
    Well if that is the case, we in trouble !

    • Leroy February 8, 2017 at 12:14 pm

      Actually, you know when business in town is not dead by the amount of people in and out of Nelson St selecting and consuming their goods.

  6. Frank White February 8, 2017 at 8:26 am

    There’s a plan afoot to sell off Bridgetown and speightstown to the white community and we, the black community will never set foot there again unless we going to clean their toilets or wash their cloths. They wanted private beaches and couldn’t get it so what they did was to buy up the west coast land and block out all the beach access routes, thanks to these hungry politicians, and therefore creating these private beaches. Drive from Esso black rock to Speightown and see how many areas you can see the sea. Barbadians are sleeping…

    • Richard Johnston February 8, 2017 at 9:04 am

      What does this comment have to do with the synagogue restoration project?

  7. A.Woodroffe February 8, 2017 at 9:50 am

    The Hyatt’s anticipated “coming to town” presents glorious opportunities for the enlivenment of the City. Requires the refurbishment of the old Empire cinema, and acquisition of the adjacent former Cole’s Garage Building. Convert the former into a playhouse or theatre which could for example, be the domicile of the Christmas time St. Winnifred’s /Ursuline Convent’s wonderfully brilliant annual pantomimes. The Old Cole’s bldg becomes a Café Blue (the late) type coffee house with a stage for daytime performances such as the most appealing and flourishing “Laugh it Off” series.

    • J. Payne February 8, 2017 at 12:50 pm

      Empire could probably work as an Embassy building for some country. It is really small. It is about the same size as many other Bridgetown venues. The General Post Office for example has the Jackie Opel Amphitheatre. That could probably be covered by an inexpensive roof made out of membrane or something and some side doors thrown on and it’d be another venue. Similar in size again are the spaces over at the Central Bank Building. A slightly smaller is the George Street Auditorium and ofcourse you still have all the conference rooms at Hilton, LES Conference Center (formerly Sherbourne), and there’s still conference facilities at Prince Cave Hall Auditorium police compound too (technically). Is Barbados filling these venues now? To add Empire to the stock? It isn’t really all that big.

  8. hcalndre February 8, 2017 at 11:16 am

    I, for years said that the Empire Theatre should be named Jackie Opel center with Jackie doing his signature split in neon lights. Richard Stoute should be the person in charge with two hour shows a day especially during the tourist and crop- over season. What ever a person can do, eg, Individual acts like limbo and fire eating, singing, acrobatics, magic even something like the Apollo with Sandman.

    • J. Payne February 8, 2017 at 1:37 pm

      If there was more than one TV station in Barbados it probably would have been refurbished by some private interests as part of culture and the arts. The Barbados government doesn’t have the money to do it unless it gives up on something else.

  9. Peter February 8, 2017 at 2:18 pm

    Many things can be done to that Empire building. In my opinion, because of its rustic appearance, I would convert it into a Bridgetown Wax Museum showcasing Barbadian and other Caribbean greats. The NCF or the Barbados Museum or even the Barbados Historical Society or all three plus private investors can own and operate it. If marketed and promoted well, it can prove not only a landmark entity but a “mist visit” one at that.

  10. Peter February 8, 2017 at 2:19 pm

    That should be “must visit”

  11. Alex Alleyne February 8, 2017 at 6:11 pm

    The EMPIRE building will only get fix-up if the HOTEL is built on Bay Street.

  12. Jennifer February 8, 2017 at 6:29 pm

    @Frank White – you so funny. This is partially happening already.
    On the note of this synagogue restoration. The government should not put a cent to restore this place. These people are the chief branch of the white race which put our people into Slavery. This is what i mean by not knowing your history puts you in a state of stupor.

  13. Stop and think February 14, 2017 at 7:50 am

    If the black bajans don’t wake up and start taking
    A more proactive stance in Barbados instead
    Of putting their time and energy into foolishness
    And material things, them are going to find themselves
    Shut out of their own Island. Them better take note
    Before it’s too late; otherwise don’t blame the white
    Ppl or the foreigners who will be running them
    Instead of the other way around. People lost
    Them values and self pride and too many people
    Relying on government instead of demand the
    government to work in the best interest of its
    native born islander


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