Grass Street urged to take ownership of Walcott Place Project

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Grass Street urged to take ownership of Walcott Place Project

PRESS RELEASE – It was an atmosphere of great expectation as residents of Grass Street and environs gathered on the Grass Street basketball court for a meeting to further discuss the Walcott Place Project.

This transformational project being headed by the Saint Lucia National Trust (SLNT) has numerous partners who displayed their commitment by attending the meeting.

Agencies present were the Cultural Development Foundation, Ministry of Social Transformation, Ministry of Physical Development, St. Lucia Social Development Fund, St. Lucia Workers Credit Union and Royal St. Lucia Police Force.

The meeting had approximately 60 participants and was chaired by Mr. Gandolph St. Clair, a member of the Walcott Place Project – Interpretation Working Group.

He began by explaining the significance of the project and the historical context of the community which gave rise to Warwick, Alix, Derek and Roderick Walcott, Harold Simmons, Arthur Jacobs, Dr. Didacus Jules and Allen and Sir Arthur Lewis, a few Saint Lucians who have contributed richly to arts and other spheres of the island’s development.

Thereafter, SLNT Councilor and member of the Walcott Place Heritage Committee, Mr. Calixte George Jr. delivered a PowerPoint presentation which showed how the space will be transformed to facilitate a theatre, a gift shop and other amenities.

He also gave an overview of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of the project. Mr. George reassured the residents that most of the lots to be acquired are vacant; however, suitable relocation packages will be made after consultations with residents who might be affected.

Mr. Augustin Poyotte of the Ministry of Physical Development used the opportunity to explain the concept behind the project, and the need to maintain as much of the rich architectural designs of the Walcott’s residence.

There were rounds of applause when the residents saw the proposed transformation of the space and one gentleman filled with elation said, “I can’t wait for this to materialize”.

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  1. The main historic attractions in Castries are the Castries Market, Derek Walcott Square and the Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception. The George V Park (The Gardens) is no longer a safe historic attraction. The proposed Walcott Place Project is an excellent opportunity to reverse the decadence of Grass Street and by extension the city of Castries.

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