DRIVING forwards: A National Park visitor centre, motorway and sewage works are part of the budget plans for inland Malaga next year.

A NEW motorway is on the cards for inland Andalucia. A study has finally been commissioned to bring the dual carriageway to Ronda. A total of €700,000 has been set aside in next year’s regional budgets to look at extending the existing motorway from Malaga to Ardales. The idea was first mooted in 2010 when work on a ring road around Arriate began. It would mean journey times to Malaga airport being cut by 15 to 20 minutes.

In more good news for the area, an office will be built for the new Sierra de las Nieves national park, while €505,000 has been set aside for improvements at the visitor centre for Antequera’s historic dolmens. The good news comes as it was announced that Malaga province was awarded a €90 million budget boost over last year’s funding of €351 million.

The Sierra de las Nieves national park

There is set to be a solution for the treatment of sewage in the Guadalhorce Valley, while other sewage works have been commissioned for towns, including Arriate. Waste from Alhaurin el Grande and Cartama will be treated at the Malaga Norte plant, which is currently under construction, however, it is not expected to be completed until at least 2025.

The Guadalhorce reservoir

Meanwhile €1.6m has been set aside for upgrading squares, streets and parks in Alora, Archidona and Antequera, among other towns. An investment of €120,000 is also being spent on promoting the grape industry in the Axarquia.

A total of €2.5 million has also been set aside for restoration works of the 15th century buildings on the island of Cartuja (located on the Guadalquivir river) in Sevilla. 

The Sierra de Las Nieves national park is home to one of Spain’s most bio-diverse ecosystems, with over 1,500 different species of plants, some of which are only found in the Ronda area.  The park is also home to over 120 species of birds, ranging from black kites to golden eagles, plus a host of interesting invertebrates like the red swamp crawfish and rare salamander species.

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