Press Release- The Msgr. Patrick Anthony Folk Research Centre (FRC) has joined the discussion on the development of a 2030 vision and plan for the city of Castries.
On Monday November 26th, 2018, members of the interim board of the FRC met with representatives of the National Integrated Planning Unit (NIPP) within the Ministry of Finance and consultants from the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) to discuss the proposals for the redevelopment of the Castries basin. During the meeting, the representatives of the UNOPs, which is assisting the government of Saint Lucia in this exercise, explained that a process of consultation is now underway in which stakeholders are being invited to make inputs and proposals for the redevelopment of Castries
The FRC presented details of a 2013 concept for the development of Mount Pleasant as a National Heritage Park where the economic, historical, cultural and conservation potentials are optimally developed, presented and sustainably managed for Saint Lucians and visitors, within the context of Castries as a Green City in an era of Climate Change. This includes the rebuilding and reestablishment of the FRC headquarters at Mount Pleasant within the park.
As the last remaining green space within the city of Castries, the seventeen-acre Mount Pleasant serves as a flood mitigation zone to the city of Castries and is known to contain a wide variety of plant and bird species. As a historical site, Mount Pleasant figured in one of the most important battles between the French, under Admiral D’Estaing, and the English, under Admiral Barrington, in 1778. It was to Mount Pleasant that the French troops retreated under a moratorium to attend the wounded and the dying many of whom were buried near the base of Mount Pleasant Ridge. The FRC concept provides for the establishment of a Folk Museum, historic and cultural trails and an ethnobotanical garden where research into the plant life of Saint Lucia is undertaken and the nation’s germplasm is preserved and optimally exploited.
Following the discussions, between the representatives of the FRC and the NIPP, it was agreed by all parties that the FRC submits details of the concept to the team engaged in the preparation of the Vision 2030 document for Castries. The FRC will also share information on the concept with the public, non-government and government agencies including the Development Control Authority.
With the support of the government of Saint Lucia, the FRC established its permanent home at Mount Pleasant in 1993 following the acquisition of one acre of the estate lands. Since then the Centre served as the main repository for information on the cultural heritage of Saint Lucia and became a much sought-after venue for cultural events. On March 25th, 2018 an early morning fire completely gutted the building, resulting in the loss of an extensive collection of print and audio-visual archives.
The FRC now occupies temporary offices at the Cultural Development Foundation, but will be relocated to the former Monroe College, Barnard Hill, from December 1st.