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File photo: PM Minnis in Eleuthera – October 2018.


The following national report on Family Islands is one of a series of reports by Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis, which his Office announced would be given to provide updates and information to the people of The Bahamas on a broad range of national issues during the next several weeks:

 

(Press Release) The government will promote Family Island and rural development with the same intensity and focus that has been historically applied to New Providence, Prime Minister the Most Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis said in his first National Report for 2019.

This year, the government is expected to roll out several key agriculture investment projects, said Prime Minister Minnis.

“We will invest in strengthening agricultural infrastructure inclusive of farm feed roads, and facilitating access to power and water in farming areas,” he said.


“We are equally committed to developing an integrated agriculture eco-system where farmers will have access to insurance, and access to cost-effective inter-island transportation.”

Prime Minister Minnis said that as a matter of urgency, the government will increase access to credit and additional funding to Bahamians in the agriculture sector, while increasing access to local and international markets for producers.

In terms of international investment, the Family Islands are attracting tens of millions of dollars and significant projects to energize their economies, he noted.

“At long last, after so many years and fits and starts, Eleuthera, the island named for “freedom,” is set for growth,” said the Prime Minister.

Investments for Eleuthera include: The Philautia boutique resort hotel project in Governor’s Harbour; Disney Cruise Lines’ low-density cruise port destination at the Lighthouse Beach in Bannerman Town; Windermere Island North Community Resort; Jack’s Bay Community Resort and Davis Harbour Marine south of Rock Sound and the $4 million dollar Harbour Island Marina and Community Resort.

The Prime Minister took the opportunity to again point out the land that Disney is developing on Eleuthera was privately-owned. “Disney was not sold Crown Land for this development,” he said.

Some of the core elements of the Disney Cruise Lines Island Development include: the integration of Bahamian cultural and artistic expression into the design of the site and experiences offered, and the restoration of various historical and cultural sites.

The development will create approximately 150 new jobs and an array of entrepreneurial opportunities for residents of Eleuthera and Bahamians in general.

Disney will convey approximately 190 acres of the land purchased from the private seller to the Government of The Bahamas for conservation and a national park.

Significant new investments on Abaco Island and the Abaco Cays include: the proposed Tyrsoz Family $580 million investment in South Abaco for the development of a five-star residential resort and marina, which will involve the upgrade and expansion of the Sandy Point airstrip, the development of Sandy Point ferry dock as a cargo transshipment port and construction area, and the extension of Queen’s Highway in South Abaco.

On Andros, a Bahamian joint venture partnership arrangement for the development of the Blue Hole Marina and Lodge in Fresh Creek has been approved. The development will consist of a 12-room lodge and an 80-slip marina, including a bulk fuel facility.

“Long Island will experience growth to its economy with the development of the Pinder’s Bay $5 million 28 bungalow community development project at Lower Harbour,” said Prime Minister Minnis.

“This project will hire about 30 Bahamians during construction, and nine Bahamians to operate and maintain the residential community.”

Also in the works for Long Island is a new five-star eco-resort by Star Resort with 515 luxury residences.

The Berry Islands, Bimini and the Exumas experienced their share of investments with the expansion of existing properties and green field tourism projects, said the Prime Minister.

The Report, the first of three to be delivered by Prime Minster Minnis over the next few weeks, outlined what the government is doing to boost economic growth, help create jobs and provide greater opportunity for all Bahamians.