1 February 2022
What is being proposed?
An opportunity that could greatly benefit the Island has arisen, especially in terms of our built heritage! To enhance understanding and to objectively consider this opportunity adequate discussions and research have been undertaken. This information is now available, and Ministers are looking forward to engaging with you. We wish to present this unique opportunity to you so that we can obtain your views before making a decision on how best to proceed.
The British Napoleonic Bicentenary Trust, a UK-based charity, was created to generate alternative revenue streams for St Helena – in particular for our built heritage.
To date the Trust has been successful in securing funding for the renovation of Jacob ’s ladder and Toby’s Cottage. Now, through the tremendous work of one of the trustees, there is an exciting opportunity for a proposed expedition to the Island in late March 2022. This expedition, if approved, would see a number of wealthy donors and business leaders with historical links to Napoleon, visit St Helena to raise funds for our built heritage as well as establish relationships which could transform the economic landscape of our Island.
The delegation for the expedition would include members of 11 royal families across seven European countries; to include some of the world’s wealthiest, most dynamic and interesting individuals and business leaders (who feature in the Sunday Times Rich List, the Forbes Billionaires list and the Forbes 500 list); and former premiers of at least two European countries.
Expected benefits of the proposed expedition include:
- Opportunity to raise a significant amount of money for St Helena’s built heritage. This would primarily be achieved through fees paid by each delegate to join the expedition, with scope to raise additional funds when on-Island
- Media coverage in three UK print publications (The Times, The Sun and The Daily Express) along with social media content promoting St Helena
- Showcasing the significant opportunities being developed, which we wish to realise, as part of St Helena’s Sustainable Economic Development Plan
- Building relationships with delegates who have significant investment expertise or interest in capital-raising, venture capital funding, philanthropy that could assist us in sustainably strengthening and protecting areas of vital importance to us, to include our cultural heritage,, environment, political framework, our health, education and agricultural sectors, , media, to name but a few
- Opportunity to attract funding for key infrastructure projects on-Island
- Becoming the first place in the world where a coalition from seven countries comes together to commemorate their ancestral legacy
- A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for all parties participating in this unique experience – i.e. the donors, descendants and St Helena.
Important to note: The trip will be fully financed from donations received from the delegates.
Who would be visiting?
The expedition would include around 40 persons, who are paying to fly to the Island using Titan Airways, as a private excursion, noting their experience operating flights to the Island.
The expedition is expected to take place over a four to five day period during which delegates would be resident in the Mantis St Helena Hotel.
It is anticipated, that during the visit, a number of pre-arranged land- and marine-based tours will be offered to allow the delegation to explore St Helena’s unique environment, to include our flora and fauna, endemic species and our natural and built heritage. If approved, it is also envisaged that opportunity would be given for business leaders and entrepreneurs on-Island to engage with these delegates to network and explore opportunities for investment, fundraising and philanthropy.
Due to their high profile lifestyles, these delegates have a limited amount of time available to undertake this trip, but they are extremely keen. Noting our current quarantine arrangements, a proposal has been received requesting that they be allowed to complete their 10-day quarantine under strict conditions before arriving to St Helena.
How would this work, in practice?
All delegates would undertake 10–day’s quarantine, to include a rigorous testing regime, before departure from London Stansted. The quarantine and testing programme would be overseen by one of the top five international health and toxicology companies, Randox Laboratories*.
Within the 10-day quarantine period each delegate would be expected to receive four PCR tests. A further test would be taken upon arrival to St Helena (Day 11):
- Test 1 – 10 days prior to departure day
- Test 2 – 96 hours prior to departure
- Test 3 – 72 hours prior to departure
- Test 4 – Pre-departure test
- Test 5 – On arrival to St Helena.
In addition delegates would undertake a daily PCR test during their stay on St Helena, as added reassurance for both the delegates and the local community.
If at any point during the 10-day quarantine period any of the delegates test positive, they would not be allowed to participate in the expedition. Delegates will quarantine at their own homes where most of them live on secluded estates, and will form bubbles where appropriate with family members.
It is anticipated that all delegates would be double or triple vaccinated prior to arrival on St Helena.
We welcome your views
The parameters of this proposal does not reflect the testing and quarantine procedures currently in place for all arrivals to the Island and it is for this primary reason that Ministers wish to engage with you. We are keen to gauge your views before taking a decision on whether to allow this once-in-a-lifetime expedition to take place.
A meeting is planned for 7pm on Wednesday, 2 February 2022, at Prince Andrew School. All are encouraged to participate by providing feedback either through the meeting or by sending your views to: firstname.lastname@example.org. There will also be a question and answer session on both radio stations on Wednesday, 2 February, commencing at 11am on Saint FM and 12.30pm on SAMS Radio 1.
*Randox was the company chosen to manage the quarantine and testing arrangements for Team Great Britain when participating at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics; 100% of the athletes arrived in Tokyo COVID-free.
31 January 2022