Solution for 11-year hitch

CULTURE CENTRE : Ximo Puig and Benidorm mayor Toni Perez (fourth and fifth right) inspect plans.

THE Valencian government plans to sell off nine plots of land adjoining the Terra Mitica theme park in Benidorm.

The Valencian government owns land occupied by Terra Natura, two luxury hotels – Asia Gardens and Villaitana – a golf course, heliport and petrol station.  

All have a 75-year concession and pay annual fees that bring little financial benefit to the regional government.  Some do not even pay cash but in kind, including hotel accommodation or passes for the golf course.

The Generalitat hopes that by selling 2.7 million square metres of land it will raise €12 million to finish Benidorm’s Cultural Centre and other stalled projects. 

Work began in 2005 on one of the resort’s few remaining prime sites on Avenida de Europa. Construction stopped and started several times but finally halted in 2011owing to the economic crisis and the former regional government’s chaotic finances.

The future Cultural Centre cannot remain as it is, said Generalitat president Ximo Puig.  It has deteriorated, is a waste of the money invested so far and offers “a lamentable image.” 

Publicly-owned Proyectos Tematicos which manages the Generalitat’s leisure projects, initially sought private sector funding but Puig preferred an option bringing in hard cash.

This would then enable the Generalitat to negotiate with Rover-Alcisa- Dragados, the consortium awarded the tender to build the Culture Centre, in a situation complicated by legal action and the threat of compensation.

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