PRESIDENT of the Council of Majorca, Francina Armengol, said yesterday that Spain's Minister for Housing, Beatriz Corredor has committed to providing 50 percent of the financing needed to refurbish the historic Misericordia cultural centre located on the Ramblas in Palma.

After a meeting with Corredor, Armengol said that after the Balearic government has undertaken works on the heritage site to complete its side of the bargain, the Central Government ministry will then sign a long-term funding agreement. The total amount of investment needed to reform the Misericordia, said Armengol, amounts to 10 million euros and to find the money, the Council has decided to sell the last public building which it still possesses, the old Public Works Ministry in Palma. She added that the Council of Majorca is going to “pull all stops out” and attempt to get the work finished within three to four months. “Once this is done,” she said, “central government will take financial responsibility.” Armengol claimed that the project had come at an appropriate moment because with the construction industry currently at rock bottom in the Balearics, demand for skilled labour on a public project was most welcome. “We want to increase the amount of space given over to cultural activity and to enlarge Council of Majorca office space at the centre,” Armengol explained.