Olympic canoeist Sete Benavides trains on the lake. | Teresa Ayuga

Lago Esperanza in Alcudia, referred to as Estany dels Ponts (lake of bridges), is to become a high-performance centre for canoeing and will be a venue for national and international competitions.

The Council of Mallorca, which wishes to make the lake an international benchmark for canoeing that will be operable all-year round, will be overseeing investment of some three million euros of EU Next Generation funds in a high-level regatta channel with nine lanes of one kilometre in length. The Council says that adaptation of the lake and its surrounds will be based on "criteria of sustainability and environmental conservation, which will make it (and Alcudia) a reference point for the international market".

The idea for a centre of this type was first raised almost twenty years ago. A project was presented in 2002 but wasn't acted upon due to issues with processing the necessary requirements and with funding. It has been and is used for training purposes, but the new project will take this to a whole new level.

The Council will be working on the plans for the lake in close collaboration with Alcudia town hall and the Balearic Canoeing Federation. The Costas Authority will also be involved, with its powers now due to be transferred to the regional environment ministry. It is a project described as being in line with the overall plan for tourism sustainability in Mallorca and the Balearics.