By Humphrey Carter
THE Balearic business community yesterday welcomed Palma's new convention centre project saying that it will help to “revitalise” and “diversify” the local tourism industry. Miguel Lladó, chairman of the Chamber of Commerce for Majorca, Ibiza and Formentera, said that the project has been “a long time coming.” “It's a development the business community has been crying out for for years,” he added. “The new facilities will provide us with a host of new possibilities with regards to boosting low-season tourism,” he said.
The construction of the new convention centre, luxury hotel and under ground car park designed by the winning Spanish architect Patxi Mangado is expected to cost around 60 million euros, some £40 million pounds.
Building work is due to start in 18 months time.
President of the CAEB Balearic Business Confederation, Josep Oliver, hailed Tuesday's decision as “good for the economy. “A region like the Balearics where 90 percent of the wealth comes from the service sector, can't be allowed to continue without facilities like this,” he said. It would appear that the jury, presided over by the Balearic president Jaume Matas, chose the right design.
Patxi Mangado's project has been widely acclaimed and most people agree that his was the best project.
President of the Majorcan Tourist Board, Miguel Vicens, said that the construction of the new convention centre “is a very positive step forward for the island.” He also praised the architect for having met nearly all the requirements of the jury while making room for a shopping centre as well as bars and restaurants for public use within the complex. The structure of the 28'000 square metre complex, to be built opposite El Molinar, will be aluminium, glass and local sandstone with a huge glass front looking out across the Bay of Palma.

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