The Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) has embarked on a major project to improve lighting in The City as part of its efforts to breathe new life into the country’s capital.
Through its Revitalization Of Bridgetown Initiative, in partnership with Caribbean LED Lighting, the BCCI will be seeking to address the issue, which has been identified by stakeholders as a major problem.
Executive director Lisa Gale said the initiative was also one of the objectives of the BCCI’s council to advance the green economy.
“This project will reduce The City’s carbon footprint, improve sustainability and reduce energy use. We have therefore partnered with Caribbean LED Lighting to install energy efficiency LED streetlights within The City and its environs. LED lights appear brighter than traditional street lights, have longer life-span, lower maintenance costs and greater energy savings,” said Gale.
LED lights will be installed on private buildings within the UNESCO World Heritage Site and connected to the electrical panel of the respective businesses. The streets which have been identified span over 25 regularly travelled streets and will also cover alleys in The City.
The project should result in better lighting for shoppers, workers and businesses during late hours, especially over the Christmas season. Improved lighting will be along the main streets and car parks.
Gale did not disclose how many bulbs would be installed or the cost associated with the project.
However, she pointed out that improved lighting was expected to “alleviate concerns highlighted by the Royal Barbados Police Force and have a positive economic impact on retail, food and beverage, entertainment and cultural sub sectors after regular business hours”.
In a release today the BCCI said the lighting project would assist with achieving the Revitalization Of Bridgetown Initiative’s primary goal of developing projects and activities to protect and grow the existing 1,400 businesses and 7,000 employees in The City, while providing an environment for new job and entrepreneurial opportunities.
The project would also further the efforts to transform Bridgetown into a 24-hour city to expand the island’s economic base and promote international competitiveness, it said.
“Participating companies are eligible for a 100 per cent tax rebate under Section 12E of the Income Tax Act, which Government has provided to all companies that make cash contributions to the Revitalization Of Bridgetown Initiative through the Tourism Development Corporation of Barbados,” said Gale, explaining that although the tax rebate has been reduced many businesses could still benefit from the opportunity to install LED street light fittings.
“Businesses can opt to sponsor the purchase and installation of lights on an entire street or streets, or a set of lights within a given area,” she added.
It is hoped that the improved lighting would encourage more pedestrian traffic and an increase in social activities while contributing to a safer and more pleasant city.
“The BCCI is therefore very pleased to be a part of this venture, which will help it to achieve a more diverse city, attracting more tourists and locals,” said Gale.