Many of you may have wondered what the semi built concrete skeleton in the middle of the Avd Europa is.....well obviously a building site - it doesn't take a genius to work that one out with SIX cranes sitting idly by!
The "project", which actually started back in 2007 is for a colossal 35,000 sq mt Cultural & Conference Centre - which had an initial budget of 40 million euros.
Prior to that it was the towns football pitch and training ground - a wonderful sight seeing some green grass among the concrete buildings, which was very well used. Almost every weekend either a football tournament or sporting competition was going on there.
Yet for reasons only known to the Council they thought it would be put to far better use as the spot for the new Cultural Centre! The original plans for this ambitious project included a massive auditorium seating 1140, a "smaller" auditorium seating 546, 18 changing rooms, International library, classrooms and even an archaeological museum.
Yet five years after starting the council has admitted that that they have run out of money! Vice President Jose Ciscar acknowledged "Clearly we have a problem - work has completely stopped due to the Government's economic problems" .... no kidding!
Neighbouring towns such as Altea and La Nucia both have auditoriums and host many cultural events, partly prompting Benidorm to ask the question "why as the tourist capital of the Costa Blanca do we not have one".
Juan Angel Ferrer of the Towns Planning department and Eva Mayor - the Towns Culture minister have requested that the government steps in and finances the completion of at least the smaller, 546 seater auditorium. Currently the Plaza de Toros is used for any large events but it is in desperate need of maintenance works hence the cry for help - for smaller events the assembly hall at the Town Hall is used - but this has a seating capacity of less than 300.
Ferrer is deeply unhappy with the attitude of the Goverment that no help has been given to Benidorm and accuses them of favoring the likes of Valencia which has the "City of Arts & Science"
The rest of the project would have to wait until the Towns coffers are in a healthier position - which could be a very long time! Local businesses and hoteliers have criticized the state of the area surrounding the site as an eye sore. Had they planned something smaller it would have been finished already but Benidorm wanted to be more ambitious and compete with the likes of Valencia, hoping to attract more tourism to the area.
I dread to think how much they are paying for the rental of the six cranes which are standing there doing nothing..