Vale Royal rehabilitation plan being crafted by JNHT – Morgan Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

A rehabilitation plan is being crafted for Vale Royal by the Jamaica National Heritage Trust (JNHT).

This was disclosed by Minister without Portfolio with responsibility for information in the Office of the Prime Minister, Robert Morgan, while responding to questions from members of the Standing Finance Committee of the House of Representatives, which is presently  reviewing the 2024/25 Estimates of Expenditure, on March 5.

Morgan said Prime Minister Andrew Holness has mandated the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport and the JNHT to urgently craft a plan for the rehabilitation of the facility.

Vale Royal, formerly known as ‘Prospect Pen’, is located on Montrose Road in St. Andrew, and is the official residence of the prime minister. However, aspects of the facility have fallen into disrepair.

“There has been a lot of public conversation recently about Vale Royal. We’re also concerned, and the Jamaica National Heritage Trust is currently in the process of crafting a rehabilitation plan for Vale Royal,” said Morgan.

“That would not be in this allocation here… . The money that would come from this for Vale Royal is to deal with security, the overall management of the property, but the building is a very old building that has not been maintained properly over time, and it is going to require significant financial infusion to fix, and that is what is being planned now by the JNHT,” he added.

He said contact will be made with the JNHT through its parent ministry regarding the proposed timeline for the rehabilitation of the facility.

“We will definitely report back to Parliament and to you directly as to what the timeline is,” Morgan said in response to Opposition Member, Julian Robinson.

Morgan said work has been done on the property to reduce the speed of deterioration until the rehabilitation can take place.

“I am aware that on several occasions workmen have gone there to essentially stop things from disintegrating. That is not sufficient, and we agree that that is not sufficient, which is why I think the… proper solution is a full rehabilitation of the property,” he said.

He indicated that the assets at the facility are secure, noting that artwork that are sensitive to moisture and other exposures have been relocated to the National Gallery.

“The facade is what has deteriorated, it is not the internal aspects of the building. A contractor went in recently to do some shoring up works. There are people at the building, employees of the Office of the Prime Minister, general maintenance of the internals of the building, and the assets that are there are very secure,” the minister said.

He further indicated that consultations and engagements will be undertaken with various stakeholders regarding the property.

“We could never as a Government seek to do a rehabilitation of such an important landmark without the contribution of the persons who live in the community and other interested parties from across the island. So, there is no intention of doing any work there of any significant nature without consultation with you as the representative,” he said in response to Robinson.