KINGSTON, Jamaica – Jamaica’s Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett says Jamaica’s first artisan village is on target to open before the end of 2019. The project is being constructed at the Hampden Wharf in Falmouth.
Speaking today at a tour of the facilities the Minister said, “I am very proud of the progress we have made so far with this project and look forward to more Jamaicans being able to benefit from our very lucrative tourism industry as a result of the development.”
The Artisan Village will be a “one stop shop” for authentic Jamaican food, music, heritage and craft. It is being designed to showcase the best of the island, while enhancing interaction between visitors and locals.
The Minister noted that this will be one of five Artisan Villages in resort areas across the island. They will provide an avenue for Jamaican artists and craft persons to expose and express their creativity, while limiting the volume of imported craft items that are being sold in the industry.
The Tourism Enhancement Fund financed project forms part of the wider Hampden Wharf Development project, which is now 85 percent complete.
The Hampden Wharf Development project is a collaborative effort between the Port Authority of Jamaica (PAJ) and the Urban Development Corporation, and is being implemented to transform the town of Falmouth.
The project features: Extension of the Port connecting the locals with visitors; Paved surfaces with mixed textures and defined paths; Landscaped areas; Storyboards where applicable; Adaptive reuse of historic buildings; Rich mix of retail and local eateries; craft and history.
It will also feature restaurants, an entertainment centre and shops in an inviting environment that the Minister says will harmonize with the development at the pier.
Once completed it is expected to create an environment to accommodate local small enterprises and other businesses from the town.
“The Hampden Wharf Development is a mega infrastructure project that will reposition the town of Falmouth as one of the Caribbean’s premier cruise destinations.
It is a new and exciting opportunity for various levels of producers in the country that we have not paid enough attention to and not provided arrangements for…. It will also provide a secure, safe and seamless operation for visitors and locals alike,” said the Minister.
The Hampden Wharf Development will be open to visitors and locals and will embrace heritage assets like the wharf building, the Dome Foundry and Tharpe House.
During the tour, Vice President of the Port Authority of Jamaica, Mervin Edgehill and a team of tourism officials, accompanied the Minister.