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Feb 15, 2017

Monument Honors City’s Entrepreneurs

For about eighteen months the Belize City Council and its partners have been working on a gateway monument on North Front Street just below the Swing Bridge. Well, that project was officially opened today with a ribbon cutting ceremony and unveiling of two plaques. This project segues into a bigger plan that the City announced last year – a plan to give new life to the City with rebranding effort. News Five was at today’s event and Andrea Polanco shares the plan for how this monument will be used to stimulate economic potential of that downtown area.

 

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

The Belize City Council officially opened a key part of the rebranding efforts of Belize City. This monument – in the Fort George Tourism Zone – is dedicated to entrepreneurs of Belize City. Mayor Darrell Bradley says that it will not only serve as an attractive marker in a heavily pedestrian zone, but will also serve as a safety zone for locals.

 

Darrell Bradley

Darrell Bradley, Belize City Mayor

“It was always the idea to really have a gateway monument to be a focal point and entrance way into the area so that you can mark the area. You will note that there was an original gateway here. For reasons beyond ourselves, it was something that was not particularly fitting; members of the community had complained because of the structure and so forth. There were difficulties with respect to the carnival season because the carnival trucks couldn’t pass. So, what we did, we started from square one because we were working with our stakeholders in terms of doing a design that would be aesthetically appealing. So, the gateway arch has multiple features – it is made with stones so that in terms of the design that is what the committee came up. We also wanted to highlight the tropical beauty of Belize so that is why we have the flowers and we want to keep those properly maintained. We also wanted to use it for its utilitarian purposes, so that it will form itself a crosswalk because we know that this area is extremely busy, so it will provide an aspect of safety for people in this particular area and it allows us to highlight the new Belize City brand.  I noticed several members of the community and tourists were taking pictures of the brand and that is part of the idea that we want to sensitize on the brand through this gateway monument. It is being dedicated to entrepreneurs within Belize City. As I said in my remarks, part of CARILED’s project is to see how the municipality can work very meaningfully and powerfully with the private sector in collaborative ways to promote partnership and engagement.”

 

The monument is valued around thirty thousand Belize dollars and funded by the Canadian Government through the Caribbean Local Economic Development (CARILED) project. It is hoped that the monument will help to raise the economic potential of the City.

 

Marion Villanueva

Marion Villanueva, Programme Director, CARILED

“The role that local governments play in facilitating or harnessing local or national or central government, N.G.O.s, the church, to come together around the common vision. That is what we see here today. You have quite a strong vision that is not just the Mayor’s vision, but the people of Belize. It is really about how to make the quality of life for the people of Belize City one that you can really be proud of and that will allow the economy and business to thrive, particularly micro and small businesses; which is what makes up a lot of communities in the Caribbean. So, this gateway we are encouraged to see.  We are excited to see that this is just one example of the role that Belize City and the City Council has taken to support priority areas such as tourism in this tourism zone.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.

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