Preparatory works are about to begin for the project to turn The Mount into a green area, resembling the Commonwealth Park but with woodland and in the south of Gibraltar. It will become a recreation area with a research and discovery park, and the plans also include an adventure park, padel tennis and an events centre. In the future, the civil wedding registry will be based in the gatehouse at The Mount, so civil marriages will be able to take place there with the reception in the events hall which has use of the grounds.
The 18th-century Mount estate is 3,350 m2 in size and has an interesting history. It was the home of Major General Sir William Green from 1778. He was responsible for strengthening Gibraltar's fortifications prior to the Great Siege and for the raising of the forerunners of the Royal Engineers. The plot was purchased by the Admiralty in 1797. The residence was reconstructed in 1846 and the stables after a fire in 1859. It has traditionally been occupied by senior naval officers.
The Mount was owned by the Ministry of Defence for many years and at that time the people of Gibraltar were unable to access the grounds. Once it was no longer in MOD hands there was a proposal to turn it into a private residential development, but the government decided it made no sense for the public to be denied access to it once again, and that it would be an ideal additional green space for the Rock .
The site has become very overgrown over the years so the contract has now been awarded for removing some of the vegetation so the condition of the walls, structures and paths can be determined. The squash court will also be cleared out to ground level. This will be the first phase of the project.