Democratic Labour Party (DLP) candidate for St Philip North, Michael Lashley, has plans to develop of the Skeete’s Bay fishing complex in that constituency.
Addressing a branch meeting on Sunday night Lashley explained his vision to transform the market and to develop the area with restaurants and other businesses.`
“Yes, it is somewhat in a bad state today [but] I believe we must utilize the Skeete’s Bay market. Not only name it after an outstanding citizen of St Philip North but we must ensure that we utilize it to the fullest,” Lashley told supporters gathered at Blades Hill, St Philip.
Without giving details or any indication of what stage this plan was at he said the development of the area could be done through a private-public partnership.
“It could go a long way not only in rebuilding the fishing industry and bringing back the boats to Skeete’s Bay, but also we can engage in building a restaurant in that area so that the locals from the area can get employment, so that the fishermen can have an outlet or market to bring their fish and we can stimulate and have a whole set of economic activities in that area. When you talk about vision that is vision,” he explained.
Lashley’s plan comes a year after developer and operator of the popular Crane Beach Resort, Paul Doyle, revealed that he had been granted formal approval for a $200 million Skeete’s Bay Tourism Development Project.
Back in 2012 there was a public campaign against the plan by residents of the area, with Lashley, who was then Minister of Housing and Lands, giving the assurance that Skeete’s Bay would remain the property of the Crown.
However, last year, Doyle said he had received approval from the Town and Country Planning Department to construct 67 luxury condominiums in the area – which was later welcomed by residents.
Also addressing the political meeting on Sunday was Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy who said there was a need for additional tourist attractions in the eastern parish.
Sealy said while he was pleased with the level of activity generated by the Crane Resort and the addition of the Sam Lords project there was still a need for more.
“You need to reflect on the need for other activities that our visitors will enjoy. Other activities that we need to experience and offer so that everyone can get a chance,” he said,adding, that the historic East Point lighthouse in St Philip would also become a major tourist attraction.
“That is also currently being retrofitted and there is an opportunity to create a whole little village experience there, a tourism attraction that include the actual house where the lighthouse people used to live. We can create something very attractive there. This is the kind of thinking we are trying to bring to our tourism where it is not just about numbers but it is about creating opportunities where the maximum number of Barbadians can enjoy what we are doing,” he added.