They said it would never happen (and it still might not) but the opening of Corvera Airport is imminent and a major cash boost has been promised for the Paramount theme park in Murcia, South-East Spain
The long-running linked sagas of Corvera Airport and Paramount theme park in Murcia, Spain, have moved further slow steps towards reaching a happy resolution. Earlier this week Alberto Garre, President of the Region of Murcia said the arrival of the high-speed AVE train and opening of Corvera International Airport “in 2015, if possible, would become reality”. With the theme park meanwhile, the announcement of a €16million EU subsidy had the online forums buzzing. This was later clarified to say it would be paid following construction of the development scheduled to cost the developer, Premursa, in excess of €200 million. The European Commission said in a statement that the area was “entitled to receive regional development loans,” and “We have arrived at the conclusion that the positive contribution of the measure to favour local development would outweigh the competitive situation created by the private company being given state aid.”
Chris Mercer, Director of local estate agent Mercers Ltd, said: “Since Murcia was chosen as the location for the Paramount Park back in 2010, the path to realisation has been chequered. Following a symbolic stone-laying ceremony in 2012, and recent small-scale work on access roads and land clearance, the site has been relatively quiet. The focus has been on planning permission, environmental assessment and, most important, attracting foreign investment. Opening dates have been gradually pushed back from 2015 to 2017. Naysayers have had their doubts but a €200-million-plus project in a country emerging from recession was never going to have it easy. At least now the signs are the most positive we have seen for a long time.” Premursa has also prepared some with impressive websites and promotional videos.
According to Murcia Today newspaper work will begin in earnest on the urbanisation and infrastructure in early 2015: assuming that Premursa presents a deposit of €3.85 million. After this the licenses for general building work and activity on the site can be issued.
Corvera Airport is a separate but linked issue. All that remains is for the European Commission to give its decision on the legality surrounding Corvera’s loan guarantee, and compensation for San Javier’s closure, a decision which will be heard on 18 December. If all is well, Corvera will open in April/May 2015 and San Javier will begin a 12 to 18 month wind down process. The Spanish airport authority, AENA, has said it will not place any obstacles in the way.
“The timing is pretty good for new Spanish Theme Parks and Airports,” says Chris. “So far, from January to September, Spain has welcomed 52.4 million international visitors, up 7.4% year-on-year, sending the country on the right track for another record breaker. Britain, France and Germany remain the strongest source markets. These figures alone prove the demand is there. Meanwhile, the property market is still enjoying a double whammy of super-low house prices and a strong pound versus euro. This buyer-friendly window is still open, for now at least, until Paramount fever really ignites.”
By Christopher Nye, Editor, OPP Magazine