Entertainment hub given go-ahead in West End
A new international entertainment hub is to be created at Cross Island and Moresby House in the West End.
Lieutenant-Colonel David Burch, the public works minister, said that Savvy Entertainment Bermuda had taken over management of the former America's Cup home and would use it to host events that do not require permanent structures.
Danilee Trott, chief operating officer of, Savvy Entertainment Bermuda, said the Bermuda branch of the global entertainment company also planned to convert Dockyard's historic Moresby House into an “A-class” recording studio.
She explained that Cross Island “would host a broad range of events including corporate functions, themed parties, live music concerts, skating rinks, team resorts and so much more”.
Ms Trott said: “The space will also be available for rent for local promoters and producers, as well as organisations to host their own private events.”
She added: “Our plans for Moresby House include converting it into an A-class recording studio as a destination event for international recording artists as well as for the use of local artists.”
Colonel Burch, who said that Dockyard managers West End Development Corporation had teamed up with Savvy Entertainment Bermuda, explained that the previous Wedco board had commissioned a sub-committee to look into Cross Island, which was built to host the America's Cup Village.
He said the executive summary was still being reviewed by the new board, but that it had decided “in the short-term to make this area available for events that do not require any permanent structures”.
Colonel Burch said: “While this is not a decision that should be rushed into, we must also keep in mind that these facilities are Bermuda assets which should not continue to sit vacant while a decision is made.”
He added: “An application has been made to the Department of Planning and we expect to see activity on Cross Island in the very near future.”
Colonel Burch said events would have a pre-negotiated fee and any revenue would go to the Government to help defer the $39 million cost of construction.
He added: “Wedco will be releasing further detailed information on their website and other social media on the procedures and contact details for booking the island.
Colonel Burch also explained that the company, founded by Anthony Blakey, a songwriter for record label Sony, would be “looking to use their expertise and worldwide contacts to help develop local talent”.
He added that the charity branch of the company, Savvy Foundation Bermuda, had already applied for charitable status on the island.
Colonel Burch said former Progressive Labour Party premier, Dame Jennifer Smith, had been invited to join the board of the international foundation and to be resident director in Bermuda.
Tim Blakey, Savvy Foundation president, said the charity's “four pillars are art, music, health and wellness and creative entrepreneurship”.
He explained that its exchange programme would give local youth the chance to travel and get international exposure.
Mr Blakey added: “Our goal here is, of course, to inspire, to educate and to empower them.
“The main thing in education is that with knowledge comes power. The youth definitely needs that.”
Michael Scott, MP for Sandys North, said the programme presented “immense opportunities” for the island's youth, particularly those feared to be at-risk, or involved in gang activity.
Singer Olivia Hamilton, who performed at a showcase and industry networking event hosted by the company last month, said she had benefited from the company's work.
She added: “Not only are they providing a platform for Bermudian talents, but a springboard and an avenue for us to be on the world stage.
“If you are Bermudian and you have talent — there is so much talent here — come out and get with the team.”