High level delegation visits National Cultural Center for an update on extensive renovation work being undertaken

November 28, 2022

A high delegation, comprising of the Ministers for Finance, National Planning and Trade, Naadir Hassan and Lands and Housing, Billy Rangasamy, yesterday (Thursday 24th November), visited the National Cultural Center, to get a firsthand update on the extensive renovation being undertaken on the building, situated on Rue Pierre de Possession, Victoria.

The overhaul is being undertaken by the Green Island Construction Company (GICC). The company took charge of the renovation in February this year.

The delegation also included the Secretary General of the Seychelles National Institute of Culture, Heritage and the Arts, David Andre, the CEO of the Seychelles Infrastructure Agency, Jitesh Shah, as well as high officials of GICC, Angelique Antat and Yves Choppy.

Once renovation work on the building is completed, it will be a modern learning center, housing mainly the National Library and offices of the Institute.

The Secretary General of the Institute of Culture, Heritage and the Arts, David Andre, said ‘he is encouraged with the work which has been undertaken so far.’

“The progress made is giving me hope that the country will finally have its National Cultural Center, very soon. I am very satisfied and happy with the level of work being undertaken by GICC.”

Minister Rangasamy has also echoed his appreciation with the quality of work being undertaken by GICC.

“It’s clear that work is progressing very well. The quality of work is satisfying and most importantly, the contractor has a good understanding of the needs of the client, which in this case is the Institute for Cultural, Heritage and the Arts. The renovation is on track and all indicators show the deadline to complete the renovation will be met.”  

He said the renovation of the National Cultural Center was a priority for the government.

“This building housed our national library and other aspects of our culture, and what is a nation, without such a facility to be enjoyed by our population and visitors alike? The Government took this renovation work very seriously, because we want the National Cultural Center to be the heart of a modern learning center for all of our population.”

The National Cultural Center, closed down in 2018, due for a fungus infection. Since then, it has stood idle and the services offered had either been scaled down or relocated to other venues.

For his part, Minister Hassan has reiterated the government’s commitment to invest in these state buildings which have for so long been neglected.

“We will continue to invest in our infrastructure, not only in new ones, but also the existing ones, which unfortunately have been neglected for too long, and are now in a dilapidated state. Investing in the complete renovation of the National Cultural Center is a must, because of its historical value, and its educational status.”

The government’s plan is to turn the National Cultural Center into a modern learning center, where the use of technology, Minister Hassan said ‘will be the norm’.

‘In addition to turning the building into a modern learning center, it will also house the administration structure of the Seychelles National Institute of Culture, Heritage and the Arts, which will eventually save taxpayers, at least R15 million in rent annually.”

To note, one of the priorities of the 2023 Budget, is investment in infrastructure.

The Government has allocated R1.4 billion for its capital investment programme next year, which represents 4.6 percent of GDP. This is an increase of R 608.9 million or 76 percent compared to the revised 2022 budget.

For the year 2023, the cultural sector will continue to benefit under this programme, as the government has budgeted R5 million to start the construction of a new National Archives, R3 million to renovate the Theatre de Palmes, at Mont Fleuri, R4.1 million for the renovation of the Carnegie Building on Independence Avenue, and R6.4 million for the construction of an Administration block.

The renovation on the National Cultural Center is expected to be completed by May 2023.

The National Cultural Center, was officially opened on 18th June, 1994.

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