St. John’s Antigua- Plans for a US $150 million sports village have moved a step closer following the signing of an official agreement between the government and developers.
Bosses of C2C Limited have been given the go-ahead after a memorandum of understanding was sealed yesterday at the Prime Minister Office following Cabinet’s approval.
According to the six-page agreement, the project will comprise a multi-faceted sports village on grounds surrounding the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Stadium.
It will boast football stadiums, a multipurpose gymnasium, recreation centre including a bowling alley, swimming and diving facilities, and a convention centre.
A statement issued by Sports Minister Winston Williams said once all the requirements have been met, a specially created company – the Antigua Sports Village Inc, in which C2C and the government will be the major shareholder – will move forward with construction plans.
It is expected that this phase of the project will result in a comprehensive plan designed to not only increase the level of participation and performance of sports and recreation, but also to assist in developing the sector into an economically viable one.
The Minister said the project team has been given a specific timeframe within which to complete the planning process – including how it will be financed. Public consultation is expected to begin later this month.
Williams said the concept for the sports village had been on the cards since the construction of the cricket stadium.
He added that the proposal from Urban emerged from a consultation in 2009, when the sports department completed a strategic plan entitled “Continuing Promise”, and invited stakeholders to submit proposals for consideration.
“Following initial discussions, Mr Urban was asked to refine his idea and return with a proposal for the consideration of the relevant government authorities to determine whether it would be approved for moving to the next level – and he followed through on the requirements,” Williams said.
In attendance at the ceremony was director of C2C Keith Gill who signed on behalf of the firm, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Sports and Director of Sports and Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer.
Urban previously told OBSERVER Media that construction costs would not fall on local taxpayers. He said the company had both the resources and expertise to come up with the cash.
The project is due to be completed in time for the 2016 Olympics in Brazil. The complex is set to include a training facility for athletes hailing from colder climes to help them adjust to hot temperatures.