by Staff Reporter
MORE than 2.6 million euros will be spent on laying the groundwork to give the Playa de Palma resort area a major facelift.
In announcing plans, Balearic tourism chief Joan Flaquer stressed the importance of private enterprise in the development of projects to modernise the popular resort area.

A consortium has been set up to supervise the operation, and the papers were signed yesterday by Flaquer, the secretary of state for tourism and commerce Pedro Mejia, the Council of Majorca's tourism chief Francesc Buils and the Mayors of Palma and Llucmajor, Catalina Cirer and Lluc Tomás, respectively.

After signing the agreement, Flaquer said that private enterprise was essential for carrying out the plans which include two golf courses and an aquarium.

Flaquer added that the Balearic government was going to propose a competition in which five or six major architects and town planners would be invited to submit plans for the Playa de Palma and Llucmajor.

The initial funding of 2.6 million euros will be for organising planning competitions and later, it will be necessary to seek further funding from all sources.

Flaquer explained that initially, the ministry of industry, tourism and commerce will provide one million euros for 2004-05, the Balearic government will match that amount next year, the Council of Majorca will contribute 60'000 europs this year, and the Palma and Llucmajor councils will contribute 300'000 euros each.

Mejia stressed the importance of five administrations being involved in a project of this scale, adding that it will mark the way for the Spanish tourist trade in the future.

The initiative is a pioneer of its kind in Spain and Flaquer said it would prove that an old resort such as the Playa de Palma could meet the challenges of the 21st century.

Buils pointed out that it was thanks to the recently approved Territory Plan for Majorca that this project could be carried out as the area had been classified for reconversion.

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