The village of Brown Hill in St. John’s is poised to become a hive of sporting activity on Nevis with the construction of an international standard playing field in the area.
General Manager of the Nevis Housing and Land Development Corporation (NHLDC), Eustace Nisbett revealed that construction has begun on a facility that, when completed, will feature a 400-metre track and provision for cricket and football. The venue will be equipped with floodlights, and a modern pavilion complete with dressing rooms, rest rooms, seating and media accommodation.
The facility is being constructed on a piece of land purchased by the Nevis Reformation Party (NRP) government of the 1980s, and which has been complemented by the purchase of a further 47,000-odd square feet by the NHLDC over the past two years.
According to Nisbett, the idea behind the construction of the ground is to try and decentralize sporting activities on the island, thus giving the various communities opportunities to reap the benefits derived from such events.
“The Department of Sport of course would have to decide what activities will be shifted here but from previous conversations with the Minister in charge he did note that he would want to decentralize some sporting activities, particularly football, which he felt could be moved to a venue like Bath or Brown Hill.”
Nisbett said a move to Brown Hill should increase commercial activity in the area: “Of course that in itself should bring some increased level of commerce to the area of Brown Hill. As people converge for entertainment and leisure it tends to bring a little cash flow with it as well.”
The first stage of the development consists of leveling the field, extending it to accommodate the 400-metre track and providing professional lighting. The second phase includes the construction of the pavilion and related facilities.
The NHLDC head anticipates that the bulk of the work on Phase 1 should be completed by April provided additional excavation being undertaken by contractors is completed.
“We really expected that the facility would have been ready for last September but there were some negotiations between the Ministry of Youth and Sport and the contractors – Surrey Paving – for some additional work, in particular for additional excavation and the extension of the additional 47,000 plus square feet. Those negotiations were completed sometime in November, and work would have commenced…All equipment and fixtures are here already so it will be relatively easy to get that part out of the way. It is the excavation that is taking quite a bit of time. So I would say that around April we should be able to complete that phase.”
According to Nisbett, the project is a joint venture between the NHLDC and the Ministry of Youth and Sport.