Montserrat Development Corporation Hosts UTECH Graduate Study Tour
The Montserrat Development Corporation (MDC) this week hosted students and instructors from the University of Technology in Jamaica, who are on a Caribbean tour as part of the Masters of Science in Built Environment course.
The group made up of seven students and two teachers were on island for two days to look at Montserrat’s redevelopment and were able to view the geothermal site, the destruction of the former capital Plymouth, and the Little Bay port and town project.
Rennai ByField who is a high school Geography teacher taking the master’s course said the tour was “informative and they were able to relate what they saw to what was being studied“. Geologist Rupert Green said viewing the devastation of Plymouth has been a real “eye opener” and brought clarity to what he’s been studying.
On Tuesday afternoon the group sat with the Minister of Education and Health Colin Riley, to discuss the concept of resiliency, strength and the ideas behind the present redevelopment programme for the island.
“People are looking for us to rebuild Plymouth but that town was developed out of what was the situation at the time. The warehouses on the waterfront were a response to the need for storage areas to hold the agricultural products including cotton which were being shipped abroad. The war memorial was a symbol created in a time of war with a need to rally the people,” he explained.
Minister Riley who is a trained town planner said the vision for the new town is in response to prevailing economic trends which says tourism will remain a driving factor in the region.
“Our new town is focused on our young people and our future. The cricket field in the centre we see as part of our tourism product. Cricket has a tremendous regional and international pull and it makes sense to create a space where we can attract that to our island. We are also looking at investing in the development of our people in the cultural arts so we can fully utilize the Cultural Centre which was built as a gift to the people of Montserrat.”
Laurence Neufville, the lead instructor said the tour and the hospitality of the MDC team has been “absolutely fantastic“. The team travel will travel to Dominica and St. Lucia before presenting papers at a conference in Barbados.
Photos of the students study tour and more information on the development of the new town and port can be seen on Facebook.com/MontserratDevelopmentCorporation.