There will be a major shift in focus with regard to the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre (LESC) – from primarily a conference facility to one that allows for the renting of office space and the accommodation of key government offices and departments, including the Prime Minister’s Office.

Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Richard Sealy, made the announcement in the House of Assembly yesterday as he brought to the House a Resolution seeking to guarantee the Barbados Conference Services Limited a sum of Bds$17.625 million from First Citizens Bank (Barbados) Limited, for the purpose of assisting with the outfitting of new offices at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.

“The government took the decision and the Standing Accommodation Committee that they will take all of the office space at the LESC. My information is that the Government Information Service will be on the ground floor, along with a studio. The first floor will have the Ministry of the Civil Service and the Ministry of International Transport. The second floor will have the Ministry of Tourism and the Prime Minister’s Office. The third floor will have the Prime Minister’s Office and Cabinet office” Minister Sealy revealed.

He however stressed that whilst the facility is being combined, the conference centre aspect will still continue to function.

“The Conference Centre I think has done extremely well over the years and it is almost difficult to imagine Barbados without the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre or Sherbourne, as it used to be called,” he said.

He meanwhile spoke to the performance of the operating entity, the Barbados Conference Services Centre, over the last three years.

“The Barbados Conference Services Ltd., they had an 11% improvement in revenue this year over last year or should I say as of Dec 2016. It was 11% increase upon the performance of 2015 and 2015 was 4% up in the performance of 2014” Sealy said, adding that the push to have different revenue streams has paid off.

“So there will be a shift in focus to some extent. Whereas emphasis would have been on conference space with just a few offices, we are now going to have major levels of office rentals and at the same time, we would have to run the conference centre,” Sealy noted. (RSM)

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