British Heritage specialists describe Nevis’ heritage sites as remarkable

NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (February 10, 2020) — Two British World Heritage specialists have given the Bath Hotel, Bath Stream and Fort Charles at Bath Village on Nevis thumbs up and referred to them as a remarkable heritage sites. They were at the time meeting with Hon. Eric Evelyn, Minister of Culture, and Hon. Spencer Brand, whose ministry is engaged in the ongoing Restoration Project at Fort Charles. The venue was at the Nevis Island Administration’s conference room in Charlestown on February 07, 2020.

Heritage Specialists (l-r) Mr. Paul Simons and Mr. Barry Gamble

Mr. Barry Gamble and Mr. Paul Simons are on Nevis for a 10-day visit to assess and assist the Nevis Island Administration (NIA), through the World Heritage Committee, headed by Mrs. Evelyn Henville, on the way forward with its bid for inscription on the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage List.

“My second visit, the first one maybe 11 months ago and were I was working with my colleague Paul Simons on a transnational spar project to UNESCO – seven countries 11 sites – and we just submitted the nomination and three weeks later here I was in Nevis looking at a thermal spring and one of the first hotels in the Caribbean, a remarkable site.

“My second visit here we looked at Fort Charles and I had not been before and I did not have high expectations but I have to say from visiting the fort, although there are clearly some issues to be addressed, it was a remarkable site,” Mr. Gamble said.

Mr. Simons, an architect and specialist in Tourism and World Management and the Spa Industry, who is visiting Nevis for the first time also gave his first impressions of the historical sites.

“I have been so impressed being here for the first time to see the Bath Hotel and the thermal springs and then Fort Charles with Barry. What is clear is there is fantastic opportunity here. There are terrific resources here, natural resources and cultural resources and the architectural heritage of the place and we are here to assist.

“We are here to help with the ministers to develop some further capacity here for heritage management, the protection of the heritage and how that can be used for sustainable future as we go forward. These things will not be achieved overnight. We need a decent long-term plan, a long-term vision to achieve these and I’m sure it’s all manageable and can be achieved with the right partnership approach,” he said.

Hon. Eric Evelyn, Minister of Culture on Nevis at a meeting at the Nevis Island Administration Conference room on February 07, 2020

Meantime, Mr. Evelyn stated that the two-member team was on Nevis under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture.

He noted that it’s no secret the NIA had made a previous bid for World Heritage inscription for historic Charlestown but had not been successful, however, the heritage and history of the island has the potential to win another bid for inscription.

“We still believe with the heritage and history that we have here on the island of Nevis that we can succeed and we think the potential is there and we are pressing forward. We have a World Heritage Committee in place, headed by a very capable Mrs. Evelyn Henville, and they have been working overtime to ensure that we resubmit, and we’re hoping that whenever that resubmission is done that we will be successful, and that is the reason why we have the visit of Barry and Paul.

“We are very delighted that they are here to assist us and we look forward to their recommendations, and we are very confident that their visit will bear fruit and so on behalf of the Ministry of Culture and the Nevis Island Administration we are delighted to have the presence of the World Heritage specialists, and once again we are very, very confident that we will go forward with the recommendations that you will put forward, and we believe that in the end we will have World Heritage inscription,” he said.

Mr. Brand referred to the specialists’ visit to Nevis as timely.

Fort Charles Bath Hotel with members of the World Heritage Committee on Nevis

“I believe that your visit is certainly timely. As we would have indicated earlier we are embarking on a restoration project there at the Fort Charles, and we do recognise that it is a project that is very much involved and your expertise and your advice and guidance is very timely because we have just started the process.

“We have recently had a company out of Jamaica to undertake some assessment of the property and also give some advice and guidance as to how we can move forward. So with your experience and with your advice we believe that we can twin all of the information together to reach at the end game,” he said.

Mr. Brand added that in his view there is great potential for the island’s has historical sites and the people of Nevis need to benefit from the profits that could be derived from them.

He also used the opportunity to welcome the specialists to the island and urged them to enjoy every facet of the island they can.

“So we welcome you to Nevis and we hope that you can use some of the time to enjoy some more of Nevis and not all work but enjoy the sites, the cuisine, the people.

‘I believe that you would find it to be a place that you would certainly want to come back to very quickly and we certainly welcome you with open arms. So welcome and we are certainly looking forward to your advice and the input you can make to help us move this process forward,” he said.

Also present at the meeting were Mrs. Evelyn Henville, Chairperson of the World Heritage Committee; Dr. Ernie Stapleton, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Communication and Works; and Mr. Keith Glasgow, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Culture

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