AN OLD American base at the highest point of Alicante province will be converted into a migrant reception centre.
The facility at Aitana is over 1,500 metres above sea level and entered service in 1960 as one of 13 Air Surveillance Squadrons set up in the country via an agreement between the Spanish and US governments.
It had two big radar aerials to monitor Soviet Union activity at the height of the Cold War and was later taken over by Spain for maritime navigation work on behalf of NATO.
The site was abandoned over eight years ago with the barracks consisting of eight buildings which will be converted to a Centre of First Arrivals catering for up to 600 migrants.
It will cover 53,000 square metres and create 60 direct and 100 indirect jobs.
The €25 million project is funded by the government with the help of a European Union grant.
Besides residential accommodation, it will also include brand-new sports facilities with work starting by the end of the year with the completion date set to be mid-2025.