A facelift for Queen’s Park
Redevelopment and repurposing are on the cards for Barbados’ best known national recreational park.
There are plans for Queen’s Park, opened as a national park in 1909, to become an enhanced centre of cultural activity over the next two years in a project that Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley announced would start at the end of the coming fiscal year.
She also suggested that a name change is on the cards for the facility, which is part of the UNESCO heritage site Bridgetown and its Garrison, in consideration of Barbados’ plans to become a republic.
Speaking during the Estimates Debate in the House of Assembly on Tuesday, Mottley complained about the appearance of Queen’s Park, saying that like other areas of Barbados, it appeared “derelict and pop-down”. She insisted this image must be changed.
“It must be the home for cultural and creative activity in Barbados because it is central, because when those kids are coming from school, there must be a place where they can go and see people rehearsing and dancing, painting and doing all kinds of fine arts.”
Mottley suggested that after improvement, the small amphiteatre in the garden area east of Queen’s Park House could be the ideal location where people “could go and speak on any day and to have all kinds of activities” in the same way in which Speaker’s Corner in London’s Hyde Park is an outlet for public expression.
She floated the idea of such a facility being named after famous black Jamaican political activist, the late Marcus Mosiah Garvey, who had spoken at a Queen’s Park rally many years ago.
The Prime Minister also hinted that Queen’s Park is likely to be the new home of the National Cultural Foundation.
“Over the course of the next two years, we want to relocate the headquarters of the National Cultural Foundation back down to ’Town, but we also want to build out different performing and other spaces.” (GC)