Government spends over 5 million to decide demolishing theatre

It has taken the Government several years to accept the reality that most other people in Gibraltar accepted a long time ago in relation to the Theatre Royal. The project to salvage and restore the theatre was a laudable enterprise when it was first commissioned.

But when it slowly became clear that it would far exceed original budgetary estimates the Government should have acted decisively and abandoned it. Instead it dilly-dallied over it leaving the land unoccupied but paying rent for years. The PDP adds: The result has been that the Government has spent in excess of 5 million on the site only to decide to now demolish it and convert this into a green area.

DELAY

"Once again this is classic delay of the Government that has resulted in a waste of taxpayer's money" said PDP spokesperson Gigi Sene.

In November 2007 the Progressive Democratic Party had already stated: "The PDP is clear in its view that the present project should now be abandoned and a purpose-built theatre-cum- conference centre built at a more convenient location elsewhere. That location should cater for parking facilities which are essential for any proper functioning theatre or conference centre both in terms of the mobilisation of necessary equipment and the arrival of users.

While the original project was announced in good faith the costs of the Theatre Royal have spiralled and it does not make sense to pursue it any longer at the current location. Additionally there is now little heritage to conserve on the site.

An alternative sensitive use in keeping with the central location of the site and its historical significance should be considered." STEP ASIDE The Government failed to heed the advice of the PDP and other entities and the costs have spiralled, time has been lost and the site remains derelict. If the GSD is incapable of acting swiftly or has run out of ideas it should now step aside and allow those with ideas to govern Gibraltar, they say.

05-03-10



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