There is no question that the Urban Arona Plan 2007 to 2013, in large part financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), has already resulted in huge improvements in its target areas El Fraile, Las Galletas and Costa Del Silencio.
It is presumably this money that is behind the development of the new marina in Las Galletas and the improvements to the small central park area in Las Galletas (just don’t tell them how many times the wooden flooring has had to be pulled up and relaid). The new clinic in El Fraile is streets and towns ahead of the tatty old one in which you were afraid you would leave with more diseases than you had when you arrived and the refurbishment of the El Fraile Civic Centre is well under way.
There have also been enormous improvements to the roads and lighting structure in Costa Del Silencio. No longer must a stroll to the newsagent involve playing dodgems with the cars and kerbside hop scotch over broken flagstones.
All great stuff but what is keeping the locals and returning residents in most suspense is the development of the new park at Garañaña. It seems to have been going on a while and the developers have given up on keeping inquisitive eyes out of their territory so it’s all too easy to catch tantalising glimpses of wide avenues and what must be a climbing tower. People have been complaining that the development seems slow and yet every time I walk the dogs round the back of it, I can see big changes. It’s all very exciting and will be a boon to the area but what exactly will Park Garañaña entail?
Well according to the video below there will be botanical gardens, infomative botanical walks, bamboo and Canarian Pine groves, sports facilities, an amphitheatre technologically ready to support performances and which will seat 250 and a children’s play park. Missing from the video is any specific mention of the climbing tower and bike track which seems to have become local ‘knowledge’.
Urban Arona Plan and Park Garañaña
Thank You But…
The total cost of the Urban Plan Project at the outset was 10 million euros. The ERDF have financed 7.4 million while Arona Town and Tenerife Council each ponied up 1.6 million. It would be interesting to know if this project has stayed in budget and also if any of this money was spent on the monstrosity of the Chapparal fountain in which a handful of gormless metal tourists spin in endless circles, going nowhere.
Not to be ungrateful or anything, since I do live in the area affected and improved by the Urban Arona Plan, but I would just like to voice two teeny-tiny gripes (well three if you include the fugly fountain) about the spending of this money. In the first case, development of better facilities at Mahon, the social security clinic near Chayofa has been delayed for years and kids and adults in the South have to be transported to Candelaria for treatment that should be available on their doorstep. With the plan intended to improve the social, economic and environmental development of the area I wish the ERDF could have found some money to kick butt and get this necessary medical facility finished.
Secondly, the Park Garañaña looks great but why was some of the ERDF money not spent on the refurbishing of Damon Park across the road? Presently that park is a broken down and jaded memory of what it used to be. It is contains dangerous open drains, cracked concrete beams, broken and crumbling stairs and an old empty swimming pool. The main part of it used to be maintained by the lads who ran the Damon Park tennis court and cafe. When their lease came up for renewal a few years ago the rent had hiked so high they had to let it go. That cafe is now lying empty and broken down. Such a shame. It used to be a great place to go with the kids.