Rowley: Port of Spain must attract young people

 In this Ocotber 28, 2020 file photo, Frederick Street, Port of Spain bustles with activity as more people returned to work in the capital. PHOTO BY SUREASH CHOLAI -
In this Ocotber 28, 2020 file photo, Frederick Street, Port of Spain bustles with activity as more people returned to work in the capital. PHOTO BY SUREASH CHOLAI -

THE Prime Minister is optimistic that Port of Spain can be transformed into a city where young people will want to work and live in.

Dr Rowley shared his view during a telephone interview on i95.5 FM on Saturday while speaking about the Port of Spain revitalisation project.

"I am particularly keen on making the city welcoming to young people if they want to live in the city, to either afford to rent in the city or own property in the city," he said.

Rowley said once this is achieved, the revitalisation of Port of Spain would be successful.

"We have been working on the regeneration and revitalisation of the city of Port of Spain from 2018. By 2019, we had actually started to look at and finalise plans." He said this work was highlighted in the Spotlight on Urban Development at the Hyatt Regency, Port of Spain on Monday.

"I was very satisfied that the large majority of people in the country felt that it was worthy and the timing was right. It is never too late to get something done right." Rowley said Government is "banking very heavily on private resources combined with the State's resources" to execute this project through a series of phases.

He said the State was bringing incentives to the table while the private sector had other assets which it could bring to bear on the project.

"We believe that the combination of both will work to the benefit of both the private sector and the public sector."

Asked for an update on the Community Recovery Programme Team that was formed in August, Rowley said, "We are still fine-tuning the specifics. When we get to that stage, maybe within the next month or two, you would see the specifics." He said has been liaising closely with Youth Development Minister Fitzgerald Hinds, a member of the committee.

The committee, led by psychologist Anthony Watkins, was established to evaluate and design a path forward for communities in need. It was created on July 2, two days after protests in east Port of Spain and other areas.

Rowley said some people did not seem to understand the function of Hinds' ministry. "It is a ministry to drive programmes."

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