Subscribe to our E-news


Follow us on Twitter


Montserrat Technical Assistance Programme

Economic Development and Reform
17 January 2013

David Crichton has returned to Montserrat to continue our programme of technical support to the Government of Montserrat.


The island of Montserrat was devastated by the volcanic eruption of 1995, sterilising two thirds of the island’s land mass and engulfing its capital town of Plymouth. The economy of the island was largely destroyed and has struggled to recover since, with half of its population having emigrated. The island remains heavily dependent on continuing subsidy from the UK Government. Physical access is constrained by inadequate harbour and airport facilities. Import costs are high and export opportunities limited. Energy costs are also high, dependent on diesel-generated power.



There are however a number of opportunities for development, especially in up-market and niche tourism. The island is a centre for diving, ornithology, volcano watching and hill walking. A master plan has been approved for the integrated development of the two most accessible sites, Little Bay and Carr’s Bay and investor interest is already being attracted. The continuing attraction of the island to “snowbirds” with owned and rented villas on the island bring additional opportunities for local spending. Plans for the improvement of the harbour and ferry facilities are in place and will substantially improve access for visitors and residents. There are vast reserves of geothermal energy and the feasibility of commercially exploiting them is being appraised. Geothermal power would reduce local energy costs as well as provide potential for electricity export to the wider region.


David’s role is to assist in the establishment of the Montserrat Development Corporation (MDC). MDC is an executive agency of the Government of Montserrat and is responsible for trade and investment promotion and local private sector development. His latest assignment, following up three previous projects on the island, will cover the establishment of a “One-Stop Shop” for investment enquiries, finalisation of an investment incentives package and detailed definition of MDC’s role in local business development.