Orihuela is a large municipality with 27 villages and a consolidated urban centre and Orihuela Costa, (the coast), demographically and economically booming.
The total population experienced a drop from 91,000 in 2013 to 76,000 in 2018, partly due to a census that has been corrected, and also as a result of many foreigners returning to their home countries.
The inhabitants are distributed in approximately thirds. One third in Orihuela centre, one third the 27 villages and one third on the coast.
Orihuela Centre has 2 public libraries 700 metres apart. It has 9 museums, more proposed, several music schools, a conservatory, municipal schools of dance etc, theatres / auditoriums, as well as a new one currently being developed. It also has 7 Exhibition centres.
Throughout the year many activities are organised, all together more than 100. Two sessions a week are held for children in the municipal library, the national short film festival, the chamber music week, the week of street theatre etc.
The villages are located within a radius of less than 7km from Orihuela Centre while Orihuela Costa is 33km distant.
In summer the coast accommodates over 200,000 people, but there are no performances of any kind, nor exhibitions, no library, school of language of music, of dance, or Servef which provides courses for the jobless.
In Spain it is usual to have adult classes, but no one on the coast can attend as there is no daily bus service to Orihuela Centre.
In addition, the school failure rate in Orihuela Costa is one of the highest in Europe, more than 70%. This is disgraceful, why? What future do any of the 5,000 children in schools on the coast have if their education provision is inadequate?
The lack of infrastructure on the coast is evident, and is one of the main demands of the residents. It would increase the businesses and quality of life and promote the Orihuela Costa as a place of leisure and business.
We believe the best location for a Cultural Centre is the parking area of Zenia Boulevard, part of which is municipal land. It is central, and would be the ideal location.
We propose a building that includes a Theatre for 500, a large library, multiple rooms for exhibitions, a study for activities, adult education classrooms, Servef, music school, languages, university extension courses etc. We could have a cinema and concerts, in total 2000 square metres.
The construction price in the area is below 1000 euros per square meter. The final cost would be approx. €2,000.000 and could be paid over 10 years at a rate of €200,000 per year.
The financing would be through the Orihuela Council, the Diputacion, the Generalitat and private sponsorship. The main contributor could be Zenia Boulevard, given that it will generate more customers. In addition, spaces in the Cultural Centre could be rented, to pay for maintenance as well as activities and part of the construction cost.