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Minister of Sport Anil Roberts and his representatives signed off on a nearly $500 million bond to finance the upgrade of nine regional recreational facilities. One of these includes the proposed facility at the Eddie Hart Ground in Tacarigua that Roberts said will go ahead only after all approvals from the necessary agencies are secured.

20131219 bond signing

Announcing details of the fixed rate bond are, from left, Gregory Hill, managing director, Ansa Merchant Bank, Sports Minister Anil Roberts, Ashwin Creed, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Sport and John Mollenthiel, CEO of Sportt. Image: Trinidad Guardian

Roberts disputed the position adopted by some stakeholders including actvists that the facility will be taken away from the people.

“Everybody and every citizen of this country will be able to access the (Eddie Hart) facility, so the arguments and issues being put forward that the Government will take over control and keep it to a select clique is nonsense and absolutely not true,” Roberts said.

Roberts added that the issue of all green space at the Ground being occupied was also untrue as 85 per cent of the green space will maintained.

“All that will be happening is the people and citizens of this country will have access to an enhanced facility that will make their experience and use of Ground a better and more enjoyable one and in keeping with the policy of Government of sport for all,” he said, adding that the approvals should be secured by January 15 next year.

At the signing, ANSA Merchant Bank managing director Gregory Hill said his company was elated to win the tender and mandate to arrange for and fully underwrite a seventeen (17) year fixed rate bond in the sum of TT$495,937,500.00 to be issued by the Sports Company of Trinidad and Tobago (SPORTT) to partially finance the nine facilities.

LEFT: Sport Company of T&T (SPORTT) CEO John Mollenthiel, seated left, watches as Gregory Hill, right, managing director of ANSA Merchant Bank Ltd, signs off on an agreement for a bond for SPORTT’s construction projects. Also in photo are, standing left, Ministry of Sport Permanent Secretary Ashwin Creed, and Minister of Sport Anil Roberts. —Photo: ISHMAEL SALANDY Image: Trinidad Express

“The bond, the benefit of this bond issue redound to the benefit of small investors,” Hill said.

At the Law Offices of Hamel Smith M & Company in Port of Spain yesterday, Roberts, permanent secretary Ashwin Creed, SPORTT CEO John Mollenthiel and Hill were witness to the signing of this historic bond.

Roberts said these facilities, plus nine more thatare to be constructed, will be customised to fit the geographic space and the needs of each community. A wide range of amenities are plannedincluding pavilions or bleachers, multi-purpose hall, entertainment area, swimming pool, play park and practice nets.

The nine recreational facilities to benefit from the bond are Irwin Park, Siparia; Penal Recreation Ground; Eddie Hart Sporting Facility; Brian Lara Recreation Ground; Dass Trace Recreation Ground, Cunupia; Carapo, Arima; India Trace, Malabar; Northern Recreation Ground, Diego Martin; and Alescon Comets, Charlieville.

Article sources: Trinidad Guardian and Trinidad Express
Video: CNC3 Television

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