Ten government-led construction projects are planned on Cayman Brac in early 2019, including new customs and immigration buildings, a new planning, lands and survey building, and a new vehicle inspection center.
Government eventually hopes to relocate some “back office” staff from Grand Cayman to the Brac and the new buildings will help free up existing office space to make that a possibility, according to Deputy Premier and Brac representative Moses Kirkconnell.
Work is also continuing on the Bluff playing field, with new restrooms and changing facilities approved for construction. A handful of affordable housing projects are also proposed by the government.
Mr. Kirkconnell said government was doing all it could to fuel private enterprise on the Brac, particularly in the tourism sector.
But he acknowledged government was still the primary employer for most on the island. He said the buildings would provide much needed, new office space for government workers on the Brac.
He also believes it could free up space for some back office functions of central government to be moved to the Brac as a means of stimulating the economy.
“We have to look at how we create jobs,” he said.
“Government is looking at the potential of moving some jobs to the Brac. One of the projects that will break ground in January will mean increased square footage of office space around District Administration so there could be some jobs that could move from Grand Cayman.”
He said these would be voluntary relocations and would involve staff whose jobs did not depend on being in a specific location.
Invitations for bids on the bulk of those new construction projects went out at the end of last year and Mr. Kirkconnell believes work could begin in January. He said the new offices would be a cluster of Cayman-style cottages.
He believes private enterprise is growing on the Brac thanks to an increase in tourism.
He said increased airlift, through the new Saab planes, and the addition of new rooms, through the renovation of the Cayman Brac Beach Resort and an increase in rental units, had helped improve visitation.