President, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali launched the construction of the Berbice Stadium and multipurpose centre at Palmyra in Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne) on Friday.
The long-awaited facility is expected to provide a significant impetus to sports development in the region. It will serve as a venue for a range of activities, including cricket, concerts, and other major events.
With a seating capacity of approximately 10,000 spectators, it will become one of the largest sports facilities in Guyana, comparable the National Stadium at Providence, East Bank of Demerara.
In his address, President Ali emphasised that the construction of the national stadium is a key element of the PPP/C Government’s transformational agenda for Guyana, particularly the Berbice region.
“Today is an historic day for Guyana, not only Berbice. Today we plant the trees of hope, we turned the soil for transformation and we build inspiration of hope for the next generation to come,” he said.
The Head of State noted that the facility is not just aboon for sports enthusiasts in the region, but also holds great potential for training young sportsmen and women into world-class athletes.
In particular, the stadium is expected to play a significant role in nurturing talented cricketers, adding to the already impressive pool of international cricketers that Guyana has produced, President Ali stated.
“We are already working to bring to Guyana a world class cricket format that will see the best players in the world playing here in Guyana and this stadium is an important part of that plan.”
In addition to the construction of the Stadium and multipurpose centre, President Ali highlighted the government’s broader efforts to modernise Region Six, including upgrading healthcare facilities to provide world-class services.
The government is also exploring the possibility of constructing a new bridge across the Berbice River and establishing an industrial, manufacturing, and agro-processing hub, as well as opening up thousands of acres of land for agriculture production and developing a four-lane highway. Plans are also in place to construct a national training centre and several new water treatment plants.
President of ExxonMobil Guyana, Alistair Routledge, expressed his satisfaction to be part of the project and the company’s contribution to the overall development of Guyana. As a part of the Greater Guyana Initiative, ExxonMobil has allocated $20 billion, of which $3.7 billion will be utilised for the construction of the stadium.
Providing an overview of the project, Andres Botero Torr, the Latin America (LATAM) Director of Owen Steel, said the company along with Caribbean Green Building Inc. presented a proposal for the project to the government about a year ago.
He explained that the facility is designed to meet international standards, including the ICC standards for cricket.
Once completed, the Berbice Stadium is expected to not only boost sports development in the region but also provide significant economic benefits. The facility will attract local and international sporting events, which will create opportunities for small businesses and boost tourism in the area.
Vice President, Dr Bharrat Jagdeo and other cabinet members, members of the diplomatic corps, representatives from the private sector and officials from the Regional Democratic Council were also in attendance.