Technical works, studies being evaluated for City Hall restoration project

Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Hon. Nigel Dharamlall says Government is currently evaluating the technical works and studies for the City Hall restoration project.

The European Union (EU) had contributed some $60 million (300,000 euros) for the feasibility study for the initiative, which was completed in 2018. That analysis estimated the cost to repair the building at $1 billion.

Key findings indicated that City Hall could be restored in single or multiple phases, and that income could be generated from commercial uses such as a gallery or museum.

The EU and the National Trust of Guyana had partnered on a Comprehensive Restoration and Sustainable Conservation Management Plan which was presented to then Minister of Social Cohesion, Dr. George Norton in July 2018.

During the 2021 Budget debate in the National Assembly, Minister Dharamlall had announced an allocation of $100 million as the first tranche towards renovating the iconic wooden edifice.

While there is no specific timeline for the completion of the projects, he said it is anticipated that the construction aspect would be done this year.

In a recent interview, Minister Dharamlall said a meeting had already been held with Georgetown Mayor, His Worship Ubraj Narine and his team.

He said apart from the restoration funds, Government has also committed a $30 million subvention this year to advance the completion of the administrative building.

“City Hall has indicated via the Mayor as well that they would put $50 million of their own resources to it, so we hope that this is going to be done in a few weeks or in a few months and that administrative building will be completed.

As soon as it is completed or ready for use then City Hall said they will move staff from the current building into that building and we will begin the restoration works,” the Minister said.

Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Hon. Nigel Dharamlall

In February 2020, the Mayor and City Council launched a trust fund for the restoration of City Hall and Mayor Narine noted that a Special Committee was set up to manage the fund. He said the intention was to establish accounts in various banks countrywide where persons could make contributions toward the project. Currently, deposits can be made into account number 4023313 at Demerara Bank.