With the success of the Andalucía Technology Park (Parque Tecnologico de Andalucía) in Malaga, the Junta de Andalucía has declared the establishment of a new Technology Park Marbella.
The head of Innovation, Science and Business for the Junta has said that the new site will cover 197 hectares on land that is currently made up of 300 privately owned estates and is designated as an “area of opportunity” for the Costa del Sol in the POT plan. The idea would be to reach a public-private agreement with the participation of Marbella Town Hall and the landowners along with the regional authority for the development of the project.
Technology or industrial parks are, for those not familiar with the terms, a means of promoting small and medium sized businesses with the overall aim of generating economic growth, investment in an area and job creation.
The technology park in Malaga has since its inauguration in 1992, has continuously grown and now is currently home to 375 businesses covering telecommunications, electronics, software and advanced services, and is generating over 800 million Euros annually. More than 70% of this sum is made by businesses related to information technology and communications.
But the Tech Park in Malaga has not only brought financial benefits but also, in partnership with University of Malaga, developed many cutting-edge technologies with the participation of students, which has created a position of respect among all other Spanish universities.
Such parks ultimately help increase the human capital (skills and knowledge gained by a worker through education and experience) in the region which tends to further increase outside investment.
Thus the reason for the expansion into Marbella. Not only will it help deliver economic and social benefit to the community. There will be a creation and promotion of a range of new career opportunities.
And of course let us not forget that the project should help act as a catalyst to the Marbella property market. It should not be forgotten that Marbella has been the destination of many searching for a second home on the Costa del Sol. The high demand lead to a substantial increase in prices that, although having taken a beating over the last few years, are still above the average for Spain in 2009. This should further help alleviate the property market by attracting skilled labourers and families to the area.
If such projections continue, not only will the Costa del Sol slowly start to diversify further away from tourism, but might make Malaga into the equivalent of the USA’s ‘Sunshine State’. Companies will be drawn to Marbella to set up headquarters as the quality of life is superior to London, Frankfurt etc
Malaga is already well connected internationally via the Malaga airport and the high speed train means all major cities in Spain are only a few hours away.
There is of course still room for improvement in the Costa del Sol’s infrastructure. The main projects being the continuation of the Train line linking Marbella to Malaga and the expansion and improvement of the communications networks.
If this project is handled correctly and, unlike the Malaga Park, made to attract foreign/international companies, then the long term benefits could be very high indeed.
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