Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Olivia Grange, said submissions for the redevelopment of the Independence Park Complex were approved and the ministry has been directed to develop detailed designs for the proposed works.
“We have also been directed to coordinate the planning of the National Stadium development with the activities of the National Water Commission and the National Works Agency, among other requirements,” Grange said.
The submissions were approved by the Public Investment Management Committee.
The Minister was speaking during her contribution to the 2023/24 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on Tuesday (June 13) when she gave the update.
In addition to upgraded stands, seating, lighting and other renovations, the National Stadium’s redevelopment will include a new Velodrome (outside the main facility) and the National Sports Museum.
“We have set a timeline of 12 months to report back to the Public Investment Management Committee with all that is required to take the project to the next stage of the approval process,” Grange indicated.
“I’m heartened by the support of my colleague, the Minister of Finance and the Public Service, who has undertaken to provide the resources to assist us to prepare the necessary drawings and plans to move the National Stadium development forward,” she added.
36-month timeline for completion
Grange also reiterated that much preparatory work still needs to be done, while advising that there is an estimated 36-month timeline to complete the construction.
“We have come a far way, but there’s further to go. We will realise our ambition of a modern, state-of-the-art National Stadium and Sports Museum, monuments to our greatness as we set things right,” the Minister said.
Grange indicated that the redevelopment of the Independence Park Complex, which houses the National Stadium, has been a strategic focus for her.
She noted that it requires a lot of work, but “we have been working diligently to transform it and make it representative of the home of the best sportsmen and sportswomen in the world’.
“During the last few years, we have resurfaced the running tracks in the complex, upgraded the aquatic centre, [and] upgraded the basketball and Leila Robinson Netball courts, among other improvements, including the repurposing of the car park as an entertainment venue,” Grange said.