Benidorm’s cultural centre ready by 2019?

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THE LONG-RUNNING saga of Benidorm’s half-finished Casa de Cultura appears to be nearing a solution.

Mayor Toni Perez announced recently that work on completing the building’s façade and first phase of interior construction could begin as soon as the plans are passed by Consell Juridic Consultiu.

The original plans for this ambitious project included a massive auditorium seating 1140, a smaller room seating 546, changing rooms, international library, classrooms and even an archaeological museum.

Construction of the huge building, which includes a multi-storey car park started ten years ago, with an estimated completion date of 2013, but stalled, owing to the global financial crisis in 2009.

Since then, the project has remained as a vast, monolithic shell, perched on the corner of Avenida Europa and Calle Ibiza.

A legal disagreement between Benidorm council and the Valencian regional government over a ten million euro VAT bill due to be paid on completion, delayed plans further.

However, after a visit to the project last November by Valencian president Ximo Puig, a new agreement has been negotiated, where Benidorm only need to find around 4.5 million euros for the completed project on delivery.

The re-commissioned first phase will include the smaller auditorium, a professional conservatory of music and dance, cafeteria and completion of the façade of the building.

New plans for the project will go before the Consell Juridic Consultiu, next Monday allowing for work to commence within the next few months, with a completion date in early 2019.

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