Willoughby Bay development said to be attracting interest from investors

Willoughby Bay on Antigua’s south-east coast is one of the island’s largest bays (Photo courtesy Encircle Photos)
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Plans are seemingly moving forward for a major development pegged for Willoughby Bay despite few details being released since its announcement two years ago.

The project, announced in May 2020, is being spearheaded by a government-led committee and was intended as a financial boost amid fears for the economy at the peak of the Covid pandemic.

Head of the subcommittee Ambassador Daven Joseph told Monday’s Observer AM radio show that several local investors were showing interest in the opportunities presented.

However, they had expressed concerns about a current lack of infrastructure, something Joseph said he was trying to raise EC$100 million in capital to address.

“We need to build out the infrastructure of Willoughby Bay because it is one of the issues that is a concern to potential investors.

“We want to ensure that we have good infrastructure and development components to the project so that the value of the properties and what they are doing would be commensurate with the type of environment that we are putting the project in.

“We have come up with a very innovative way to facilitate that and what we are looking at is to put in place a Willoughby Bay infrastructure development programme which would include securing an infrastructural development fund to specialise CIP offerings. The Cabinet has already approved the concept,” Joseph said.

A land use policy for the 3,000-acre site has been developed by technicians within various government agencies including the Development Control Authority (DCA) and the Ministry of Lands.

The vast EC$300 million scheme was previously referred to as the “start of a new city”. Spanning a combination of private and Crown lands, it is tipped to encompass agriculture, residential, office, light industrial and retail development.

Joseph has called it a “generational project” that will build wealth among the people who have lived in and toiled in the area for decades.

He said, contrary to claims, the project will not be led by foreign investment but has been formulated to empower local residents and those in the diaspora “to identify and pursue development opportunities”.

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