This morning the BTL Park was launched with opening ceremonies by the Belize City Council. It took several months to be completed but the results were pleasing to all in attendance, particularly corporate sponsors Belize Telemedia Limited and Bowen and Bowen Group, as well as to international partners such as the Canadian Government and Federation of Canadian Municipalities which sponsored the project through the Caribbean Local Economic Development Program (CARILED). But ultimately, according to Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley, the success of the park will be down to the spirit of the community in which it resides.
“A park is much more than just the earth and dust.it is the people, the connectivity, the experiences, the friendships, the heart that is created here. In many ways, a park is the soul of a city. It is the lifeblood, the vein, the reflection of higher principles of life. Yes, we can build streets; yes we can build buildings as tall as the sky, but when you build a park, we build the imagination of our young, we build hope, we build aspiration; we build the opportunity to connect to one another; we build the opportunities for social cohesion, for the coming together of hearts and byes”.
Canadian representative Marie Legault spoke of her country’s hopes for BTL Park and similar projects.
It works with national governments, local governments associations and visual organizations to replicate good practices for successful entity models and it deals with policy recourse entities. Also and finally, funds finality projects as the BTL Park. With the potential how local government with private sector entities can work together, increase micro and small or medium size enterprise and bring economic and social security to the city. As we can see, the BTL Park is bringing the concrete example of almost- it almost brings it altogether. Local government can do, in partnership with the private sector to create jobs”.
The park will house 28 vendors and the Mayor says that while they will pay a premium price, they should expect to see premium services.
Mr. Darrel Bradley: “We moderately priced it and we set the rent in consultation with the vendors. Many of them are here, but we have not charged them rent yet. We want to start charging looking at March 1st, so that everybody is settled, everybody is open, they are making money and as whatever we charge between $200-$250 a month, they can afford it. That money is going to a fund that will be used for park maintenance.
This was the Park’s “soft launch,” as on February 14 the Council will host a grand official opening bash as originally planned last December.