Third District Representative, Julian Fraser has lamented that government has omitted plans to restore the Ellis Thomas Downs from the proposed Recovery and Development Plan for the British Virgin Islands.
Fraser described horseracing as one of the top sports in the BVI and said it should receive a share of the estimated $721 million that will be used to fund the plan.
Following Hurricane Irma last September, the Sea Cows Bay-based sports facility – which is located in the Third District – was massively damaged.
“There has to be a line item in here (the recovery plan) specific for that facility if we are going to address a passion of the people of this territory, not just the Third District, but a passion of the people of the territory,” Fraser said.
Premier Dr D Orlando Smith then promised to include it in the plan.
“I agree that it is indeed an important sport,” Dr Smith said. “I also agree that it needs attention.”
Proposals to get attention
Premier Smith said proposals to develop the horseracing facility was handed to government and will be considered.
“I think now is a good time to look at those proposals and make decisions so we could have a more effective … horseracing [product] in the territory,” the Premier said.
In the recent past, the BVI Horse Owners Association said they had submitted proposals to government, including one that would allow investors to develop and operate the track.
Among the benefits from such an undertaking would be job creation as well as an overall win-win for government and other stakeholders.
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