An artist’s impression of the World Trade Centre. :: SUR
Work on Gibraltar’s World Trade Centre will start in the next few weeks after planning chiefs gave the thumbs up to several improvements last Thursday 24 April.
The £45m structure will be the largest single office building on the Rock and is expected to be completed by the end of 2015.
Developers hope the 15,464m2 centre will attract more business to Gibraltar as it will be the only office in the territory connected to the new Europe-India undersea fibre-optic cable - which gives 100GB and data transfer speeds of 3.2TB per second.
At last week’s meeting the Development and Planning Commission (DPC) approved several ‘improvements’ including an internal atrium, a landscaped garden and a wave-shaped roof.
Pete Burgess, spokesman for World Trade Centre Gibraltar, said: “We have worked extremely hard to design a building which Gibraltar can be proud of and it is enormously heartening to know that the DPC shares our vision. Now we can push ahead with turning that vision into a reality as quickly as possible.”
The building features a new 500-space multi-storey car park, relaxation areas, an international café and a tree-filled atrium running the length of the building.
Peter added: “It will put Gibraltar even more firmly on the world business map and provide local enterprises with the opportunity to promote themselves across the globe through the World Trade Centre Association, which operates on every continent.”
In conjunction with the project, short-stay residential accommodation is being built to help alleviate the current shortage as well as an additional 900m² of eco-friendly offices, which are nearing completion in Ocean Village.
The new offices have already been pre-let to an international bank and to a European lottery company, bringing 100 desk-based jobs to the Rock.
Over the last five years Gibraltar’s economy has flourished with GDP estimated to have grown by 35 per cent - 7.8 per cent in 2012/2013 alone.
Shipping, financial services, tourism and online gaming form the basis of the Rock’s success, with 28 e-gaming firms now accounting for 20 per cent of Gibraltar’s GDP.