Tourism minister Biel Barceló and plans for Playa de Palma. | CAIB


The grand scheme for the redevelopment of Playa de Palma finally collapsed last year when Madrid pulled out of the consortium, complaining that investment had not been used as it should have been. The recriminations came from all sides, including the regional government, which complained about not having been advanced the funding that had been promised.

Improvements to Playa de Palma in recent years have largely been those made by the private sector - the hoteliers most obviously. There have been constant complaints by residents, especially in Arenal, about the state of infrastructure. The public sector has not therefore kept pace with the modernisation of hotel stock.

Madrid has suggested that it will involve itself again, and the national tourism minister, Álvaro Nadal, has recognised that there is a real need for "mature" resorts and resort areas, such as Playa de Palma, to be modernised.

The consortium as it now is has agreed to four projects valued at between six and seven million euros. On Monday, the regional tourism minister, Biel Barceló, signed the agreements for these on behalf of the consortium. Each project is a public and private sector venture, and they will, according to Barceló, "reorder, rehabilitate and recover areas in Playa de Palma". The improvements, he believes, will make the resort are a "benchmark".

Palma mayor Antoni Noguera suggested that the projects will start the "transformation of the urban landscape of Playa de Palma". They will, he said, "improve the tourism model and the quality of life of residents".

Although described as public-private ventures, most of the money is coming from business. The projects are for two "landscaped corridors" (pedestrian walkways), sports facilities in Arenal and new car parking in Can Pastilla.