“Blue Green Business Hub” Recommended

May 18, 2017

The America’s Cup Event Village could become home to a business hub incorporating indoor agriculture, aquaculture and renewable energy.

The Cross Island Legacy Committee made its recommendations public, saying they believe the area — nine acres of reclaimed land — should be used as an “integrated Blue/Green Business Hub including Indoor Agriculture, Aquaculture, Renewable Energy, and additional synergistic businesses”.

Committee Chairman Wayne Caines said: “I am sure there will be a lot of people wondering, how and why we arrived at our recommendations when they read this, but this was not a recommendation the committee plucked from thin air, we followed a systematic process, considering every recommendation meticulously.

“If we take all the elements of this proposal together, we think the overall value is far greater than if you take them individually.

cross island John Singleton Bermuda May 18 2017

“The committee believes this idea could create a new industry for the Island, create jobs both through the creation of the operation, the operation itself and support industries around the businesses.

“It is a concept that is a ‘step change’ and is something completely new to Bermuda so we hope people approach this with an open mind and see the benefits that something like this could bring to the Island.”

Mr Caines added: “It is really important to understand that we are not talking about some grow out in the backyard here.”

The Committee was established by the West End Development Corporation [WEDCO] last year to conduct widespread consultation over the use of Cross Island, following the America’s Cup. WEDCO also brought in Deloitte to support the Committee’s consultation and decision-making.

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In the end more than 300 ideas were submitted to the Committee ranging from a water park to a brothel, dog park and open air concert theatre. All the ideas were evaluated against a set of criteria, including:

  • Economic – provides economic benefits to Bermuda
  • That it is sensitive to the environment, surrounding historical significance, and marine habitats
  • Financial – that it delivers a good Return on Investment [ROI] for Bermuda
  • Whether it is financially viable
  • Social / Cultural – whether it is connected to Bermuda’s heritage and culture and provides social benefits to Bermuda
  • Structural. Is a good fit for the location, physical site, and exposure to weather and elements?

Mr Caines added: “The Committee believes that this development could have multiple benefits for Bermuda. For instance, there will be educational opportunities and the potential to collaborate with and learn more from local and overseas institutions.

“It will help provide more food security, reducing our reliance on imports, it will add to the amount of healthy, locally sourced food products and there may even be some potential for exports.

“On a personal note, when I started this process I did not think that we would end up with this recommendation. But as we worked through the ideas, it became clear to me that this idea met the criteria through which we were assessing ideas. I am genuinely excited by this idea.”

The WEDCO board is in the process of evaluating the recommendation and more research will be carried out into the idea.

Ray Charlton, the chairman of WEDCO, said: “The Committee was very thorough in its work and we thank them for coming up with such an interesting idea.

“We do not yet know if the America’s Cup will be coming back to Bermuda but if, unfortunately, it does not we want to be in a position to progress with a project for Cross Island that is both in keeping with the area and which adds to the economic wellbeing of Bermuda.”

The full Cross Island Summarized Report follows below [PDF here]:

americas cup click here 2

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Category: All, Business, Environment, News

Comments (16)

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  1. Hope says:

    This is such an incredibly exciting prospect!! I for one would love to move my career in to this area. If the AC does not come here, then hopefully this gets the go ahead from the people of Bermuda.

  2. voltage says:

    This is an interesting report and the timing clearly managed by ACBDA and the WEDCo Board. This is report “lite” – no details are provided- no attachments, no financial projections a simple public relations effort to save face – picture and promises.

    Following great publicity in 2016 about transparency and community participation, the committee went silent and was disbanded we were told… now they appear with a report just before AC35 and no indication of the true costs involved in creating Cross Island nor any level of financial transparency from WEDCo, ACBDA or our Bermuda Government.

    It would be helpful if the entire Cross Island committee hosted an open press conference and community gathering to discuss in detail the submissions received, their findings, financial projections and next steps.

    How much has the Bermuda taxpayer invested in Cross Island and WEDCo in the past 12,24 and 36 months? Will we ever know without another Commission of Inquiry?

    • Wayne Caines says:

      @voltage, thanks for your comments, I appreciate you taking the time to voice your opinion. The Committee had a specific remit and after the report was completed and the recommendations made to WEDCO the committee completed its public consolations. over the last few months we have met with WEDCO and explained and discussed our decisions. The formal and full report will be made public after it is discussed with WEDCO. We felt it important to put all the information in the public domain as soon as it was practicable. Also of the financial costs associated with Cross Island have been publicly disclosed on more than one occasion and remain a part of the public record. Next Steps are outlined in the document included in the press release. Please contact me on wmcaines@gmail.com 5008900 if you wish to discuss further

      • Sickofantz says:

        Seriously this is bonkers! There is already excess business space in Hamilton. The area would not be big enough to run a profitable hydroponic on this exposed space. What companies are you talking to who are proposing this have they even seen the area? Totally pie in the sky. The obvious use of this space is for something touristy. Big Wheel (where the carriages also go underwater or something.

  3. Archie says:

    great idea!

  4. LongBay Trading Inc. says:

    WoW this is so great!!! Well done to all of you for such proactive thinking and the work that you have all put in to this. Whether it flys or not is entirely another matter but in the short term it just proves that when BERMUDIANS want to cooperate and work together, it CAN BE DONE. We MUST build ourselves and our community UP and work together, not tear ourselves down or be divided as the Combined Opposition trys daily to have everyone believe.
    Well done Mr. Caines – kuddos to you and your team.

    • Wayne Caines says:

      @longbay Trading- thank you for your affirmation, you are right, Bermudians can work together for the best interests of our island home

  5. Silence Do Good says:

    Died laughing when I read brothel. But after consideration might be a good attraction with legalized marijuana and gambling. Could be our own little sin city, red light district.

    Thank-you to the committee and look forward to the possibilities the new area will generate with the Blue-Green Business Hub.

  6. AD says:


  7. Toodle-oo says:

    Huh ? No water park ?
    I guess I wasn’t the only one who thought it was a dumb idea.

  8. Triangle Drifter says:

    Hilarious! Here we have a piece of land specifically located & created for a maritime activity & this committee wants to put an indoor garden there.

    Absolutely insane!!! Guess nobody on that committee is a boater. Guess nobody on that committee has any idea what the shortage of flat land for marine service use is like in Bermuda.

    They want to plant stuff there. Good grief! Have any of them been in the area when the sea is hitting the wall & salt spray is going everywhere? Yeah, salt is real good for plants.

    WEDCO had it right the first time round. Move M&P along with their tugs down there. The docks are there. The water is deep. There is plenty room for marina expansion, even space for dry rack storage for smaller boats.

    Using the land for non marine activity would not be the first time in recent memory that something totally lame has been built. After all we do have the Grand Atlantic debacle & the no beds but huge atrium hospital so a garden on a dock makes sense.

    • Do Right says:

      I agree that this is a very dumb idea, and Wayne Caines knows this, but he will sell it anyway and it will be accepted. When will this country value substance over style?

    • Jp says:

      Absolutely correct.. cannot see a boat yard causing anymore environmental impact than what was already done creating the island.. It’s “Dockyard”, so maybe we should keep something marine related there..

  9. Better use of space says:

    Dockyard is currently split by the commercial slipway and boat yard. Would it not be better to move those operations to Cross Island and make better use of that space for our tourists and residents? It would reduce the health and safety risk to Dockyard visitors. Should those who cite environmental concerns not first prove that there is environmental damage to the current area and prove that it will not rehabilitate (by itself or with assistance)? Moreover, wouldn’t the move present the opportunity to adopt new methods to address environmental concerns relating to commercial slipways and boat yards? This is a real opportunity to make a big leap in the revitalization of Dockyard and it should not be missed. If it hasn’t been done already, WEDCO should survey our visitors and see what they think about such a move. If space permits, put this blue/green business hub down on the Airport Finger with the solar farm.

  10. Just the facts says:

    Wow, this is a really good idea, one that I like more and more as I think of the possibilities: fresh produce!!

  11. Quinton Berkley Butterfield says:

    This is what Bermuda needs. Innovative, out-of-the-box, forward thinking!