THE GROUP, Artistic and Cultural Community Team (ACCT), will soon know whether government will continue with its plans to relocate the National Cultural Centre (NCC) situated at Barnard Hill in Castries.
ACCT has vehemently opposed government’s plans to relocate the NCC and the Cultural Development Foundation (CDF) – the latter also located at Barnard Hill — and has put forth their objections in writing and met with Fortuna Belrose, Minister in the Ministry of Culture, to express their views directly to her.
According to the group, the current site is the ideal location for a cultural complex, compared to the alternative site at Choc/Union proposed by government which, the group has said, is unsuitable for the arts.
For weeks now, the group and the government are at loggerheads over which site is ideally suited for a home for the country’s artistic community.
This week, Belrose said she and a team are attempting to ease tensions between the two groups and had met with ACCT to discuss the matter. She described the group as very enthusiastic.
“There are several issues they brought to our attention, one being that the arts are part of the city and that wherever you have citizens, there is always the need to have freedom of expression and the opportunity for the arts to grow within the city,” Belrose said.
“They also talked about the site we have looked at and gave us some of the disadvantages of that site. However, we had engineers who were able to provide updated information to them. We listened to their story (and) we listened to the government’s side. A final decision has not yet been made,” Belrose explained.
According to Belrose, the team looking into the relocation of the NCC and CDF has collected data from both sides and will be making a decision later this week to determine whether the relocation will go ahead.
“Hopefully, once we have that decision, the public will be informed. We have engaged. We have listened. We have material from everywhere and that decision is soon to be known,” Belrose said.