SENIOR government officials and executives of the Bahamas Girl Guides Association (BGGA) "reached a mutually agreeable conclusion" on the lease of property located at their Fort Charlotte headquarters on Wednesday, ending a 20-year ordeal.
Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis said the government will grant all concessions provided by law and public policy to the association to assist with the construction, and equipping, of the expanded facility.
Dr Minnis also promised to review - at an appropriate time - the level of subventions provided to the association.
The lease agreement was signed Wednesday in the boardroom of the Office of the Prime Minister by Eugenia Cartwright, representing the government, and Sonia Adderley, representing the BGGA.
Dr Minnis said the agreement was significant as it ended a "longstanding request" from the association.
"In reviewing the history of the association's application, I note that approval to renew the lease for the Fort Charlotte land was granted, then subsequently revoked on at least two occasions, but be assured there will be no more revoking," Prime Minister Minnis said.
"This was a longstanding request that took over 20 years to fulfill. It took successive governments over two decades to bring this matter to a mutually agreeable conclusion."
Dr Minnis said the association was offered land on Dolphin Drive in the past, but that it was deemed unsuitable by the association as there was no access road to the property and that such a move would have separated the headquarters facilities from its operations.
Dr Minnis said the expansion of the national headquarters will be one of the most exciting and significant developments in the history of guiding in the Bahamas.
"The signing of this lease agreement will remove the frustration and uncertainty which you have experienced over the many years. You will be able to confidently move ahead with your plans," Prime Minister Minnis told guiding officials.