Spooners ginnery restoration gets US grant funds

MyVueNews Staff-writter

One of several pieces of equipment still in the ginnery.

Basseterre, St. Kitts, 8th June, 2018 (MyVueNews.com) – The long awaited restoration of the Spooner Cotton Ginnery has begun with a grant from the United States Ambassadors Fund

In a ground breaking ceremony on 7th June, Schneidman Warner, the president of the St. Christopher National Trust, expressed appreciation for the EC$160,000 grant.

Warner said,“We thought we should have the opportunity to give visitors to St. Kitts and Nevis the chance to see what we did in our proud past. We are immensely grateful to the United States for what we can call a start-up grant that they afforded us.”

Barbados U.S. Embassy Public Affairs Officer James Rodriguez described the project as important.

“I am glad people had the foresight to look at this and want to restore it. I think in a lot of places, the past isn’t appreciated as it should be and this is a very important part of the history of this island. I am so happy that you took the time to make the application to the ambassador for cultural preservation,”  Rodriguez stated.

According to Warner, the initiative to preserve the ginnery was a collaborative effort between organizations such as UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) and the OAS (Organization of American States) and most recently the U.S. Embassy.

During its operation up to the 1970s, the ginnery produced several products, including soap, cotton, cooking oil and animal feed.

Warner said that the site will bring much needed employment for the residents in the Cayon community, as well as allow past workers to bring their families to show them what they had done in the past.

The 1.8-acre property restoration will develop the site into a cotton museum, housing restaurants and retail artisan shops, making it a unique tourism and heritage attraction.

Experts said the design and layout are intended to preserve the sites existing structure, as much as possible, as well as the construction of several new structures on the grounds.

The sites of development on the property will include the ginnery, the great house, the manager’s house and the overall grounds.