Thursday, April 25, 2024

Budget incentives for fashion and music


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Prime Minister Mia Mottley has announced Barbados’ fashion sector will get a major financial injection which should allow designers and others involved to tap into the trillion-dollar industry.

In making the announcement during the delivery of the 2023 Budget in Parliament on Tuesday, she said that people only had to look at mogul and National Heroine, The Most Honourable Robyn Rihanna Fenty, to see how big an industry it was. She also wanted them to note the Rihanna’s “journey ought not to be unique and the talent of the people in this country must be honed”  and they too could be a part of it.

“… We are sitting on an untapped gold mine and we have to put our money where our mouth is. This Government will put $2 million out of those excesses that we will have next week into the BIDC [Barbados Investment Development Corporation] to work collaboratively with the National Cultural Foundation to push the fashion industry.  We have a front page plan that has been prepared,” she said.

She stated there has been conversations “about building out factory space, buying the equipment and computer aided technology to allow many of our people to come in and do micro leasing” as “most of the people who have talent don’t have the money to go and buy the machines on their own” and by having a space equipped with a green screen, opportunities would be created for Bajans.

Mottley not only announced her administration’s focus on the performing arts saying there will be a seven-year $600 000 annual string project to be undertaken in 68 primary schools, the aim of which is to expose students to playing those instruments, but she spoke again about the redevelopment of Queen’s Park, which she said would become a creativity and advocacy hub.

The project, under the management of the Barbados Tourism Investment Inc., is expected to finish “by the end of 2024”.

“Queen’s Park – the people of Barbados will give it its new name not me – will be this country’s hub of creativity with facilities for production, rehearsal, vending and live and digital performance. It will have a small amphitheater so that people can stand in the same place as Marcus Mosiah Garvey and speak on a Saturday or Sunday or whenever they please.

“Mr Speaker, it must be the home of creativity and advocacy in this country, and it must also provide accommodation for artists and residents so that there is a synergistic opportunity to determine what is possible in this Caribbean civilization, because when artists determine the possibilities, governments can then execute what is probable and certain,” said Mottley. (GBM)



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