Richard Branson’s Necker Island is to reopen after Hurricane Irma brought about its devastation to the island earlier this year.
The Category 5 storm thrashed the British entrepreneur’s beloved Caribbean private-island resort in September. The idyllic getaway in the British Virgin Islands is known best for its iconic Great House. It is an eight-bedroom Balinese-style estate that in 2011 was destroyed when lightning struck its thatched roof while Branson and his family slept inside.
Two years later, the Great House reopened better than ever, only to be again damaged just four years later during 2017’s historic hurricane season.
Virgin Limited Edition, Branson’s company, set up an animal hospital inside Necker Island’s damaged Great House. They also sent doctors and countless suitcases of medicine and other supplies throughout the British Virgin Islands (BVI). Additionally, they partnered with Unite BVI to help fund evacuation of local residents.
Renovations are also underway, and the third restatement of the Great House is expected to open in October 2018. Design details are not yet available, but the accommodations will probably epitomise the island’s casual and fun-loving elegance. Plans for a series of new villas are to be completed in 2019 are also underway.
Branson’s efforts don’t end with the future of Necker Island. The Brit has also partnered with various organisations and governments from around the world to launch the Caribbean Climate-Smart Coalition. This was announced mid-December 2017.
The public-private initiative aims to fund an $8 billion [£5.9bn] investment plan to transform the Caribbean into the world’s first “climate-smart zone.”
This includes building a more resilient infrastructure that can weather future storms and lowering the region’s dependency on fossil fuels.
Indeed, Branson is once again making lemonade out of a heap of sour lemons.