Castries, Saint Lucia. November 15, 2013: A Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) funded project is set to uplift the northern town of Gros-Islet. The newly constructed Municipal Building and Community Market was financed under the Basic Needs Trust Fund sixth programme (BNTF 6) of 2009. The BNTF is a programme of the Saint Lucia Social Development Fund (SSDF) to ameliorate the conditions of vulnerable segments of society.
The 1.4 million dollar building comprises three floors- a ground floor market, mid-level local government office, and rooftop activity deck. Minister for Social Transformation, the Honourable Harold Dalsan says the 2,970 square foot market area will provide overdue relief for twelve recognized vendors who previously operated ad-hoc on the roadside.
While recognizing former Gros-Islet MP, Senator Lenard Spider Montoute for his initiative in getting the project off the ground, Honourable Dalsan commended the current MP the Honourable Emma Hippolyte for her dedication. I’m so proud of your parliamentary representative for the energy she demonstrated in ensuring that the SSDF continued the project and brought it to completion, Dalsan said.
SSDF Executive Director Joachim Henry noted that his organization will continue to monitor the progress of the project to evaluate whether the set outcomes are being achieved, and the community is positively impacted. Officials and patrons commended the quality of workmanship and aesthetic appeal of the facility conceptualized by architect Harold Beausoleil and built by Integrated Development and Construction Limited.
Prime Minister and Minister for Finance the Honourable Dr. Kenny Anthony, who was responsible for securing twenty percent of the buildings funding on behalf of the Government of Saint Lucia, expressed his satisfaction with the structure. He noted however that the facility was only the threshold to abundance. Dr. Anthony urged vendors and residents to create a Cultural Magnet, that excites the customer to return, just as much to shop, as for the experience.
Here you have a distinctive opportunity to create a niche,a traditional market which will take the shopper back to a grand market of the past. Therefore you must look the part, wear your traditional dress- the market becomes your stage, make this market a place that a Derek Walcott or a Kendal Hippolyte will write of, the Prime Minister said, also citing the accolades bestowed upon the Castries Market by National Geographic in recent times. He also echoed thanks to the CDB, the SSDF and all contributors to the fruition of the project.