PLANS to convert Benidorm’s bullring into a cultural hub which were first announced in January 2021 have been postponed, as the council didn’t act fast enough to take advantage of European Union subsidies.
Delays in proceeding with the €13.2 million project means that an estimated €5 million of EU funding will disappear on December 31, because work has not started on time.
Back in 2018, Benidorm’s PP council was ear-marked €10 million of EU grants for a variety of projects, with municipal coffers having to find an additional €18 million.
EU subsidies for other work including the new youth hostel, camping area and interpretation centre in the Parque de la Sequia Mare or the Ells Tolls mediation centre will also lose some of the promised Brussels money.
Benidorm council’s engineering department says there are €10.5 million in projects under development or still pending that will miss out on EU cash
PSOE socialist spokesperson, Cristina Escoda, commented: “This confirms our complaints about the lack of planning and strategy from the PP government team.”
“These are the consequences of poor planning and wanting to apply for every subsidy forgetting that resources in the City Council are limited and oversaturated,” she said.
The major plank in the submissions was the change to the bullring- something that was constructed in 1962 and was a major symbol at a time of the city’s rapid development..
The venue was closed after technical reports said it was unsafe, with only the music and dance school buildings remaining open on the site.
Revamp plans announced nearly three years ago included creating a central library, youth centre, study rooms, and a meeting hall.
New stands were to be built at the arena with permanent light and sound rigging.
Benidorm’s Urban Planning councillor, Lourdes Caselles, said: “We have presented a plan and what is clear is that Benidorm deserves such an ambitious project which we are going to maintain.”
“We are going to request it to become a reality in future calls for aid and that this bullring is going to be one of the major works that we will carry out in Benidorm, along with others that have been completed,“ she added.