West Central Mall opens amidst Region Three’s infrastructure boom
Region Three continues to witness massive infrastructure development, with the latest addition being the multimillion-dollar West Central Mall in Leonora, West Coast of Demerara.
The mall, occupying 98,000 square feet of space and housing 84 businesses, was officially declared open on Friday by Vice President Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo and the proprietor of the establishment, the Albert Family.
The new mall serves as an entertainment and social hub for the people of Region Three. Its main attractions include the new Atlantis fine dining restaurant, a 1,200-square-foot indoor children’s play area, the Ace Club and Lounge, and a two-screen theatre.
It also features a food court with a seating capacity of 250 persons, boutiques, cosmetics, craft and jewellery shops, salons, cafes, three ATMs, and insurance companies, to name a few.
Delivering the keynote address at the opening, Dr Jagdeo highlighted the mall’s significance in propelling the growth and development of the region, emphasising its contribution to the massive infrastructure drive underway in the area.
“It’s a major major game changer for the people in this region,” he said.
The vice president emphasised the government’s vital role in supporting the private sector, recognising their contribution to development and job creation.
“Investors have to make critical decisions and often they take a lot of risk and we believe that one of the things the government should do to get investors to make these sorts of investments is try to minimise the risk that they face and you can only do that through a clear vision and policies that are friendly to investments,” Dr Jagdeo said.
He highlighted that successive PPP/C governments have consistently established an enabling environment for investors, recognising their importance in economic progress.
“Our economic philosophy will pick up from where we started in 1992, which was, to transform the country with a clear vision. First of all, [you have] to have a stable macroeconomic environment.
Secondly, to put in enabling infrastructure and thirdly, to reduce the burden on taxation and also to get rid of the massive debt that had caused almost two decades of lost growth,” he stated.
Dr Jagdeo stated that one of the first actions the government took upon returning to office in August 2020 was to reverse taxes on various items, including electricity and water services.
“So, when [you] annualise all those taxes that we removed, [which]
resulted in people paying, over the period of a year, $14 billion less taxes than they were paying under the opposition,” he explained,
Following that, the administration initiated a large-scale infrastructure programme, reshaping the country’s landscape significantly.
In the past three years, Dr Jagdeo said the government was able to identify projects, conduct feasibility studies, secure financing, and commence the implementation of nearly 75 kilometres of four-lane roads, including the Schoonord to Crane highway.
Additionally, there are plans for approximately 12 new hospitals, one of which will be located in Region Three.
A number of housing new schemes are also being developed by the government.
Works have also commenced on the US$1.6 billion Wales gas-to-shore project, which will lead to a 50% reduction in electricity costs.
Furthermore, adjacent to the mall, a new housing scheme is under development, and a privately owned hospital was constructed, further enhancing the region’s facilities and amenities.
Meanwhile, Minister of Tourism, Industry, and Commerce, Oneidge Walrond, emphasised that the new facility aligns perfectly with the country’s tourism goals, offering diverse experiences and positioning Guyana as a premier destination.