(PRESS RELEASE VIA SNO) – The fight by the Artistic and Cultural Community to maintain the National Cultural Centre and the CDF headquarters at their current locations at Barnard Hill continues.
The members of the Community remain firm in their resolve to have the Government of Saint Lucia reverse its decision to move the Cultural Centre and CDF building to a site at Union and turnover Barnard Hill to the Judiciary.
ACCT, the coordinating group for artists and cultural activists, although publicly silent in recent months, has not been dormant, but has been quietly pursuing its mission. ACCT has been holding discussions on the issue with both the Ministry of Culture and the Board of the CDF with its latest meeting taking place on Thursday 15th March with the CDF Board.
At that meeting, ACCT presented detailed drawings showing how the cultural centre can be maintained at Barnard Hill and upgraded to meet the precise requirements of the facility which the Government has decided to erect at Union. The Government’s plans for Union are based on providing a building with a larger seating capacity than the present cultural centre and with more parking space.
However the designs presented by ACCT to the CDF board consist of a new building for the cultural centre with 500 more seats than what the Government is proposing for Union. In addition, the ACCT building is flexible in its use in that it can accommodate both small performances and large-scale events as well as dance studios and exhibition and rehearsal spaces. The ACCT designs make full use of the entire Barnard Hill site and also provide for an amphitheatre and more ample parking than presently obtains. Critically, the estimated costs of these designs are infinitely cheaper than the Government’s Union plans which are said to be over twenty million dollars.
The ACCT proposals are a revision of a plan for the Cultural Centre which was actually drawn up by the Ministry of Planning for the Ministry of Culture and artistic community six years ago. ACCT will be meeting its full membership next week to update them on the latest developments.