As part of its efforts to breathe new life into Bridgetown, the Barbados Chamber of Commerce & Industry (BCCI) has embarked on a quest to improve lighting in the City through its Revitalization of Bridgetown Initiative (TRBI). This will be achieved through a private street lighting programme to address one of the major problems which stakeholders have identified. The improved lighting is expected to alleviate security concerns highlighted by the Royal Barbados Police Force and have a positive economic impact on retail, food and beverage, entertainment and cultural sub sectors after regular business hours.
This lighting project will assist with achieving TRBI’s primary goal of developing projects and activities to protect and grow the existing 1400 businesses and 7000 employees; and to provide an environment for new job and entrepreneurial opportunities. This will further the overarching goal to transform Bridgetown into a 24 hour city of diversity, to expand Bridgetown’s economic base and promote international competitiveness.
Executive Director of the BCCI Mrs. Gale noted “As one of our Council objectives to advance the green economy, this project will reduce the City’s carbon footprint, improve sustainability and reduce energy use. We have therefore partnered with Caribbean LED Lighting to install energy efficient LED (light-emitting diode) street lights within the City and its environs. LED lights appear brighter than traditional street lights, have a longer lifespan, lower maintenance costs and greater energy savings”. She further added that the BCCI commends its members which have come on board as this project would demonstrate tangible action and provide necessary lighting for shoppers, workers and businesses with late hours especially during the Christmas season; not only on the main streets but also in some of the car parks. Improved lighting will also help to change the perception of insecurity into one of vibrancy, security and ultimately hope for many of the micro, small and medium sized businesses based in the City.
LED lights will be installed on private buildings within the UNESCO World Heritage Site and connected to the electrical panel of the respective businesses. The streets which have been identified span over 25 regularly travelled streets and will also cover alleys in the City.
“Participating companies are eligible for a 100% tax rebate under Section 12E of the Income Tax Act, which government has provided to all companies that make cash contributions to TRBI through the Tourism Development Corporation of Barbados”. Lisa Gale explained that even though the tax rebate has been reduced in the recent budget statement, many businesses could still benefit from this opportunity to install LED street light fittings.
“Businesses can opt to sponsor the purchase and installation of lights on an entire street(s) or a set of lights within a given area” she added.
It is envisaged that Bridgetown and its Historic Garrison area will be fully lit, encouraging pedestrian traffic and other social activity, and overall creating a safer and more pleasant City. “BCCI is therefore very pleased to be a part of this venture which will help it to achieve a more diverse city attracting more tourists and locals.”