Published on July 15th, 2014 | by Administrator0
Cortes and Costa team up in exciting government ‘Upper Rock’ works programme
A major refurbishment programme of the Upper Rock was unveiled today by Minister for the Environment John Cortes and Minister for Tourism Neil Costa.
Innovative attractions and facilities for the general public will be provided, including an east-side pedestrian trail linking Europa Point with the Nature Reserve and a spectacular new suspension bridge at Royal Anglian Way.
Formerly derelict areas of historical interest will be renovated and reopened to the general public.
The project will upgrade the various existing ‘country walkways,’ for instance the Devil’s Gap trail will be renovated and a footpath connection to Queen’s Road made available, together with an all-round enhancement of safety and accessibility features. Improved signage and interpretation of our natural assets is also a key feature throughout.
Maps and interpretation centres will be re-designed to improve efficiency and create a standardised aesthetic. The improvements will be extended to the balustrades, seating and lighting.
New recreational facilities will also be delivered at the Upper Rock, together with picnic and rest areas for tourists.
A Nature Reserve interactive application for smartphones will also be launched.
At the Apes’ Den, there is an ongoing refurbishment of the feeding and foraging areas for the macaques.
There are also plans to repair Douglas Path and to create a glazed lookout point, or “sky walk” at Mount Misery.
A clean-up operation and clearance of abandoned areas such as Genoese Battery and Royal Anglian Way will also be carried out, combined with maintenance and anti-litter measures to counter vandalism.
Minister for the Environment John Cortes welcomed the completion of this ambitious overhaul of one of Gibraltar’s key treasures.
He said: “The development of the Upper Rock once again underlines the Government’s commitment to restoring Gibraltar’s natural assets in a sensitive, environmentally friendly manner for the enjoyment of locals and as a foremost addition to our tourist product. It will provide more for the community and enhance the product for visitors which will bring more tourists and so help operators.”
For his part Minister Costa said that it was his ministerial aim to transform Gibraltar into an internationally recognised truly first class tourist destination.
He said: “The revitalisation of the Upper Rock Nature Reserve is a well overdue project. The gravitational pull of such new attractions to attract cruise lines to Gibraltar cannot be underestimated. Tourism is a vital component of our economy and it is therefore imperative that we should seek to invest in upgrading facilities to ensure that our tourists enjoy the best possible service and they receive an excellent impression of what Gibraltar is about. “