On July 28 this year,Prime Minister Allen Chastanet called for a stoppage of works at the Soufriere Town Square pending a review of the redevelopment project.
After a few months of deliberation by the government, a fresh start for the Soufriere Square was announced on Monday, November 7 by Fortuna Belrose, Minister with responsibility for the Ministryof Culture and Local Government. Belrose said the tendering process will be reopened to contractors in due course.
Meanwhile, all payments will be settled with the previous contractor, Belrose said: “In keeping with the new policy direction of the government, the Soufriere Town Council Square Project has been terminated because there is a new policy direction with respect to where we are headed with Soufriere. It is necessary for us to redesign the project to integrate the new areas that theGovernment of Saint Lucia feels is necessary, to be able to achieve the goals that we want within the community of Soufriere.”
The multi-million-dollar project, Belrose said, must align with and strengthen the historical and tourism product that the town offers: “The critical thing for us is the use of arts, culture and heritage traditions of Soufriere to accelerate a regeneration of the area. Soufriere is our touristic capital and what we want to do is to ensure that when people come to Soufriere, they feel that it is so from the onset. Our vision is that Soufriere will become the Garden of Eden of the Caribbean.”
The project, whichwas originally financed by the Embassy of China (Taiwan), will start afresh next year. Member of Parliament for Soufriere,Herod Stanislas, endorsed the project, stating that residents of Soufriere are looking forward to the transformation of the picturesque town in order to achieve strategic economic gains.