Real Club Nautio and Marina International Yacht Clubs’ future looks positive

TWO of Torrevieja’s nautical facilities, Real Club Nautio and the Marina International, took a huge step forwards towards solidifying their future as The Nautical Club Association of the Valencian Community announced that they have made major progress in protecting the Costa Blanca’s many Yacht Clubs and marinas.

This follows a meeting with the Department of Infrastructure where much of  the groundwork initiated by former Councillor of Infrastructure Mario Flores with respect to the two Nautical Clubs in Torrevieja was confirmed.

Councillor for Infrastructures, Isabel Bonig said of the meeting with the Association of Nautical Club of Valencia (ACNCV) that it was “confirmed that the Valencian Government are to renew the concessions of the non-profit registered yacht clubs, without inviting tenders.”

This position has been very well received by Arturo Miquel, President of the Nautical Club of the Community, who was accompanied at the meeting by Germain Soler, President of the Real Club Nautico of Torrevieja and Board member of the ACNCV.

Arturo Miquel welcomed, as these statements reassured the group of yacht clubs, ending the uncertainty felt by most yacht clubs of Valencia administrative concessions which have expired or will do in the very near future. Carlos Eleno, Director of Transportation, said during the meeting that the Comunitat Valenciana will be the first to adapt to the Autonomous Ports Act passed by Congress State with the support of PP and PSOE.

The standard contains provisions that allow the renewal of grants to clubs with proven water sports.

One thing that sometimes is not that obvious to the International Community is the knowledge that the Coast of Spain belongs to the various regional governments of the autonomous regions.

With the redevelopment of the coast, within a few years of Franco’s death, it was decided that coastal areas could be redeveloped with Yacht Clubs and business centres given a 30-year lease on the property before it returning to the control of regional government.

With only a few months remaining on their lease for the RCN and six years for Marina International, both zones have felt very insecure about their future.

Thus this initial response comes as a relief to the pubs, restaurants and apartment hotels in the zones, some of which are up for sale, but living under the uncertainty of a buyer only having a short lease with the fear of buildings being demolished, it now hopefully means that internal investment will be forthcoming to the area and the yacht clubs are in charge of their own destiny for an undetermined time, into the future.

The ACNCV has not just been lobbying for Torrevieja but for all facilities along the Valencian coastline. However, back in 2008, Valencia Architect Adolfo Rodriguez presented a plan for the complete restructuring of Torrevieja’s Port and harbour, including in the €200-million project, a €20-million refit for both Real Club Nautico and the International Marina.

This would have entailed both zones being flattened and then rebuilt but with an additional 800 berths added to the harbour area.

However, happy with their lot and their facilities, both entities have been unsure of whether to back the plan or not as the disruption caused by a couple of years of construction and the movement of berthing while the new facilities are built, did not please everyone!

Although the future of both the yachting zones and that of Marina Salinas seems to be secure, the council still has plans for the redevelopment of the port and harbour area, the moving of the fishing fleet and ice factory to the Salt Pier area and the movement of the Fun Fair over to the new area located beside the Water park, which will also be new home for a concert zone and the Friday Market.

There have not been any announcements from Mayor Dolon as to what changes to the 2008 project are, or and if the harbour will start with a completely new plan of redevelopment.

The original plan called for 80% of the investment to be provided by Independent Investment groups, which then became 100% with a 30-year lease on the harbour zone, but in these days of competition for capital investment in this time of crisis, it’s likely that the entire project and the terms and conditions will have be re-evaluated in order to attract the hundreds of millions of euros required for such a grand project.

With plans already announced in the PP Manifesto about looking into the opportunity to construct a cruise ship zone on the southern breakwater area, while Cartagena is losing custom year on year, Alicante’s share of cruise ship business continues to grow and there is no reason why Torrevieja should not be able to share in this valuable source of revenue and employment, which would be another feather in the cap for tourism in Torrevieja and raise the profile, and with it more venture capital investment friendly, in the years to come.

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