The proposed site for the new attractions. :: FERNANDO GONZÁLEZ
So far few have had anything negative to say about the plans, announced at the end of last week by a group of private investors, to build a big wheel and an aquarium in Malaga city’s port.
The scheme, which would involve an investment of 25 million euros, proposes to boost the city’s tourism attractions with a 50-metre high Ferris wheel (in the style of the London Eye but much smaller) near the lighthouse. The same area would also house an aquarium, whose size or species have not yet been revealed.
This week the mayor of Malaga, Francisco de la Torre, described the project as “interesting” and confirmed that it complied with the land use restrictions laid down in the port’s special development plan.
It is expected that Aguagestión will officially deliver its project and business plan to the port authority in the next few days. It will be up to the authority then to study whether the facilities would be compatible with their surroundings and how much the firm would have to pay the port every year, among other details.
It would then be up to the local Planning Department to approve the scheme according to the plan that governs the use of the old quays, however the mayor said on Monday that this would not be a problem.
“The city of Malaga deserves an aquarium; it will be a good thing, and one of the [possible] locations is the port, although there could be others,” he said.
The mayor added that they would need to study the plans in detail to establish how the proximity of the wheel to the lighthouse could affect maritime signalling systems.
De la Torre described the project as a “complement for the vitality of Muelle Uno, which has an important cultural project at the corner with Muelle 2” referring to the opening of the Pompidou art centre in the ‘Cube’.
Aguagestión already directs four aquarium centres in Spain - in Gijón, Getxo, Lanzarote and O Grove - and is about to finish another in Seville, due to open in May. Similar projects are also under way in Melilla, the Basque Country and Dubai.