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PM: We saved heritage buildings to be ‘worthy of independence’

PM Dr Keith Rowley
The Ministry of Finance spotlight on the budget at the ballroom of the Radisson Hotel in Port of Spain. PHOTO SUREASH CHOLAI
PM Dr Keith Rowley The Ministry of Finance spotlight on the budget at the ballroom of the Radisson Hotel in Port of Spain. PHOTO SUREASH CHOLAI

THE PRIME Minister said employment was created by projects to save heritage buildings.

He was speaking Thursday at the Finance Ministry's spotlight on budget 2020 at the Radisson Hotel, Port of Spain.

"We had a number of heritage buildings, buildings bequeathed to us at Independence, or buildings that we have acquired post-Independence.

"The Parliament had not been in the Red House for how many years? The Red House was falling apart. Whitehall was falling apart. Stollmeyer's Castle. Mille Fleurs."

Dr Rowley recalled when he visited Mille Fleurs site with the engineering team, the general sentiment was that it could not be saved and had "gone too far."

But, he said, "Today I can report to you that a lot of employment was created by the expenditure to save those buildings."

He said Stollmeyer's Castle and Whitehall were complete, the Red House was virtually complete and Mille Fleurs had been saved.

"If we could not do that, ladies and gentlemen, and I will say it again, we are not worthy of our independence."

Whitehall, which previously housed the Office of the Prime Minister, was reopened in August after $32 million worth of restoration. A number of sections of the Office of the Prime Minister have been moved to the historic site.

Rowley also said when this administration came into office it set about finishing incomplete projects, including the Brian Lara Stadium, which was being used for the CPL finals. He said a number of hospitals were on the verge of completion, including the Point Fortin Hospital and the Arima Hospital.

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