A RUINED sugar factory will be getting a new lease of life as part of a project for a residential home for the elderly.
Marbella council is spending a total of €10 million on the project – €6 million for the planned home and €4 million to restore the historic Trapiche del Prado mill.
While the building is in ruins, it still retains much of the original structure including the rooms in which sugar was extracted from cane – once a major crop in the area.
The oldest references to the Trapiche go back to 1644, with its first owners named as Mateo Marco and Gaspar Pompes.
In 1720, the complex was acquired by the Inquisition of Granada, which expanded the factory to satisfy the growing demand for sugar.
But then in the middle of the 19th century, the manufacture of sugar was no longer profitable and the trapiche switched to making wine and brandy.
This continued well into the 20th century until production stopped and the factory fell into ruins.
The plan is to now turn the ruins into an ‘interpretation centre’ highlighting the building’s history and the old industrial activity of Marbella.
The main elements – such as the wooden roof and floors as well as an aqueduct- will be restored.
The Trapiche del Prado – also known as the Trapiche de la Inquisicion or Trapiche de Marbella is located just two kilometres north of the historic city centre.
Building work on the home for the elderly has already begun, which will be carried out in two phases over 14 months and have room for 150 residents in two new buildings.
Originally the home should have been built in 2010, but the firm the contract was awarded to could not complete due to the aftermath of the financial crisis.
Both buildings will have double and single rooms, with bathrooms, a reception and waiting area for visitors, kitchen, dining room, laundry and linen space, common areas and living rooms, as well as sections for specialised care and nursing.