By Anesta Henry
Residents and business stakeholders at Six Men’s, St Peter and the immediate communities are to benefit from new tourism development.
On Tuesday, a resolution to approve the vesting of three parcels of land at Six Men’s comprising 5 246.4 square metres, in the Barbados Tourism Investment Inc (BTII) for the purpose of tourism development, was passed in the House of Assembly.
Speaking on the resolution, Minister of Housing, Lands and Maintenance, Dwight Sutherland said that small businesses usually benefit from the construction of hotels and other major projects across the country.
“A development such as this will propel small businesses in this country – in rural Barbados, in the urban corridor, throughout the length and breadth of Barbados.
“It is the view of the Ministry of Housing, Lands, and Maintenance that the land at Six Men’s is therefore suitable for further tourism development in the north, and this has the potential to create a significant number of employment opportunities. It also has the potential to attract foreign direct investment.” he said.
Sutherland explained that part of the vested land was once occupied by luxury beach club Nikki Beach which opened its doors in 2017 and closed early 2020 at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said Nikki Beach and the neighbouring Port Ferdinand Marina will now be joined to allow the strip of land on the beachside to be used for further development and the BTII to seek out investors.
Sutherland told the Lower Chamber: “We are shifting the current road that leads to Six Men’s and we are going inland to create another road which is closer to the marina. And why we are doing that is to give BTII the opportunity to have 5 264.4 square metres of land for tourism development. We are trying to create as much space as possible so that whatever BTII decides to do in that corridor, we will have sufficient property to undertake what we call good tourism development activity,” he said.
Member of Parliament for St Peter, Colin Jordan, said he supported a tourism development project considering that the closure of Nikki Beach has left an unused asset.
“We have property, or we have lands that are not being used to benefit the people of the surrounding districts. So that is to say, Retreat on the south, Six Men’s on the north and maybe Maynards to the east.
“It is not providing any economic activity that they can benefit from. That is not tenable for the people of St Peter. It is not tenable for those who live around the area. And so, a Government like the Government that we are a part of, is a Government that will do all that it can to put that asset back into a position where it can afford the residents and the country benefit in terms of economic activity,” Jordan said.