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Sport investments will benefit community’s wellbeing, Linares says

Culture Minister Steven Linares urged the community to be patient with disruption arising from construction work related to sport facilities for the upcoming Island Games, which will be held in Gibraltar next year.

“This will be for the good of Gibraltar,” he said in a budget speech.

Mr Linares informed the house that all the sporting projects are on budget and on time.

He said: “The Government has a duty to be positive and to invest in the wellbeing of our community.”

“This is what we are doing by hosting the Island Games in Gibraltar next year. The benefits are huge.”

“From the outset we focused on delivering the best Island Games ever,” he said, adding that the community as a whole should take ownership of the Island Games.

GAMPA, which hosts nearly 400 students, will be given new premises at the Old Sisters Quarters beside St Bernard’s Middle School as from September.

In addition, Mr Linares said the Government, with the help of Gibraltar Cultural Services, has been able to acquire 30 new artworks for the Government’s Art Collection, most of which Gustavo Bacarisa originals.

The Girl Guides Hut in the Nature Reserve is nearing completion, and Mr Linares said this project was in the pipeline for the past 15 years.

The Gibraltar Sports and Leisure Authority now recycles 65% of the water used at its facilities, in line with the government’s green policies.

At the King’s Bastion Leisure Centre, the main project this year will be to replace all bowling equipment, including pin setters, ball returns, lanes and scoring system boards with new equipment ahead of next year’s Island Games.

Mr Linares announced a cashless card system will be introduced where visitors will be able to use a card which they can credit at one of the on-site kiosks.

During his speech, Mr Linares also rebutted GSD MP Lawrence Llamas’ claims that the government had spent £5.6m at the MTV Presents Gibraltar Calling.

During his budget speech, Mr Linares questioned where Mr Llamas got that figure from, and accused him of getting into the GSD “habit of saying porky pies”.

Mr Linares clarified the government’s position, and said: “The expenditure includes £400,000 of monies that has been spent for the MTV Gibraltar Calling 2018, that is the deduction in the estimates book from £2.5m to £2.1m this year.”

During his speech, he shared reports from MTV that monitor the reach of all their programmes through adverts, marketing, social media outlets, and said that value is at £1,296,926.

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