UDC Advances Rehabilitation Work on Old Naval Hospital in Port Royal
The Urban Development Corporation (UDC) is seeking to increase the marketability and diversify the product offerings of the historic Port Royal attraction in Kingston. The Corporation is currently advancing the completion of Phase One of rehabilitative work on the Old Naval Hospital in Port Royal, Kingston. The project which is valued at $80 million is being financed through the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF). This forms part of the Port Royal Museum and Historic Walk Way Project which is foreseen to act as a catalyst for future development in the Port Royal area. Phase one of this heritage tourism project began in March of this year and is scheduled to be completed by October 2015. This phase will see renovation of the roof of the main building as well as a unisex and disabled accessible bathroom and the construction of a tertiary sewage system consisting of a septic tank and reed bed. Subsequent phases will see the rehabilitation of each segment which makes up the complex being converted to multi-sensory museum space aimed at improving the visitor experience to Port Royal. Proposed to house a restaurant, café, gift shop, dining area and museum, Jamaicans and tourists to the island can expect outdoor dining with entertainment and a view of the mountains and the harbour when the project is completed. The building is expected to house artefacts from the Port Royal glory days and the history of the town as well as a covered pavilion area for large gatherings and events. The oldest remaining cast iron building built by the British, the structure of the Naval Hospital is significant because it was among the first of its kind which was built in response to climate and disaster preparedness having been built on a notoriously vulnerable site to hurricanes and earthquakes. The building has remained largely intact since 1817. The building which falls under the purview of the Jamaica National Heritage Trust (JNHT) is therefore a heritage site. UDC remains committed to making development happen for the people of Jamaica through its planning and implementation of development programmes while preserving the natural environment, traditions, customs and spurring economic growth. This Port Royal Rehabilitation project activity is being guided by the Downtown Kingston and Port Royal Development Plan and Vision 2030 which aims to make Jamaica the place of choice to live, work, do business and raise families.