THE future government Conference Centre in Palma is to be built on a plot measuring 31'000 square metres, right on the seafront of the capital, alongside the site of the present Gesa building.

Plans for the new complex include a 4 or 5-star hotel which will be able to accommodate 316 guests. This additional facility aims to attract the interest of private companies in contributing to the construction of the premises, which will put a ceiling on the amount of public funds which will need to be invested in the project.

The mayor of Palma, Catalina Cirer, and the regional minister for Tourism, Joan Flaquer, presented the project yesterday which has been devised by the government and City Council. The premises will be situted at the end of calle Manuel Azaña, in front of the Traffic department headquarters; and by the future extension of the calle Joan Maragall, in front of the headquarters of the State administration headquarters and the exhibition area in the Polígono de Levante.

Flaquer explained that the future project will consist of three buildings: the principal one, on a surface area of 17'500 square metres, to house the actual Conference Centre which will have a capacity of 2'500 people; a multi-purpose building with a floor area of 3'000 square metres which will be linked to the hotel.

The minister declared that the decision to incorporate a hotel alongside the site of the conference centre was a regional government response to the need to “reduce the investment of public money” in the project.

Flaquer went on to explain that the Balearic government aims to see the Conference Centre completed within its present term of office, or, if this cannot be achieved, that the first stone be laid prior to the next elections.

The mayor commented that the site for the new complex was finally chosen in a first rate position close to the sea, a decision made in conjunction with the Balearic Tourist Organisation (Ibatur). The latter discounted the option of placing the complex in the interior of the Polígono Levante industrial estate.