– Public sports facility subsidised by local private investment
– Local business of international importance demonstrates confidence in Gibraltar’s economy
– Holistic planning represents biggest overhaul of Gibraltar’s infrastructure for decades
This afternoon, the Chief Minister, the Hon Fabian Picardo KC MP and the Minister for Sport, the Hon Steven Linares MP, inaugurated the state of the art Lathbury Sports Complex, a massive achievement that simultaneously demonstrates the strategic forward planning of the Government and reinforces the resilience of Gibraltar’s economy in globally turbulent times.
A UNIQUE CHALLENGE
The Lathbury facilities were always expected to be the biggest and most complex of the Island Games infrastructure projects. This feat of engineering, innovation and determination involved the excavation of over 60,000 cubic metres of solid rock, itself riddled with fissures and fractures that made its extraction using brand new technologies all the more difficult. The project also faced challenges unique to Gibraltar, including heritage considerations and the presence of unmapped military tunnels in the area. These challenges, further aggravated by the impact of the pandemic on the global construction industry, led to the unfortunate delays in completion of the Lathbury facilities.
INVESTMENT BY GIBRALTAR BUSINESSES, FOR GIBRALTARIANS
In one swoop, the excavated rock will be repurposed for the Coaling Island developments whilst making space for the private business venture by the locally-run international company Bassadone, whose investment has allowed Government to recover large parts of the cost of the public sporting facility.
Bassadone’s relocation of parts of its international business to Gibraltar is clear demonstration of the company’s confidence in Gibraltar and its economy in the context of the triple knocks of Brexit, COVID-19 and the cost of living crisis that are felt here and across Europe.
Anyone who is in any doubt of the level of expertise, skill and the amount of work that Bassadone’s enterprise brings to Gibraltar should see the recent Top Gear episode which showcases the global importance of this international heavyweight company in no unclear terms – the specialist work done in Gibraltar saves lives. A clip of the relevant section is available online:
It was only through the Government’s creative structure of the project that both the public sports facility and the expansion of Bassadone’s local enterprise could be achieved.
HOLISTIC PLANNING ACROSS SECTORS
Whilst others sit back and criticise, this Government delivers on strategic, holistic plans for the biggest overhaul of Gibraltar’s infrastructure for decades. Although each individual project represents an important achievement in itself, when considered as a whole the unprecedented impact on daily life is palpable for generations of Gibraltarians; new schools, a new clean power station, new affordable housing developments, new top-class sporting facilities, all planned with each other and with the people who will benefit from them in mind.
DELIVERING FOR GENERATIONS OF GIBRALTARIANS
The Chief Minister, the Hon Fabian Picardo KC, said: ‘It is a privilege to officially inaugurate the magnificent Lathbury Sports Complex today, alongside the Minister for Sport, Steven Linares. The Gibraltar of the future will be a success story of a Government and private enterprises working in tandem and in partnership to deliver for Gibraltar’s economy and its people. Whilst businesses worldwide are closing and relocating, in Gibraltar they find opportunities and room for growth. Whilst governments worldwide are cutting services and where land is our scarcest asset, this Government finds opportunities and room to deliver on what matters the most: education, housing, jobs, sports, green spaces. Those who seek to criticise simply need to look around them and ask which of these areas would they NOT invest in? Meanwhile, where others only see problems, this Government will continue to innovate and to find creative solutions that will allow us to continue to deliver for generations of Gibraltarians.’