Although it is unknown whether Valencia will lose European funds awarded for Plaça de la Reina reconstruction, it is certain that the original deadline will be significantly missed.
If Valencia City Council wants to receive the 3.3 million euro European aid awarded for this project, it must complete the work in Plaça de la Reina by the end of June 2023.
That is the final deadline for the completion of the Plaça de la Reina renovation project, which is financed by European funds and managed by the Institute for Energy Diversification and Saving ( IDAE ).
Once the financing was approved, the City Council committed to a deadline of June 31, 2023, in exchange for €3,350,000 to renovate one of its most popular and important squares.
Nobody was particularly concerned about this clause because construction began in April of this year, and the developer promised that the square would be completed by June 2022, nearly a year before the EU deadline.
However, as expected, the construction companies have already warned the Sustainable Mobility Department that meeting the agreed-upon date will be impossible due to unforeseen events beyond their control. These “unforeseen events” are significant archaeological remains discovered on the site. Something that might be expected in a city as old as Valencia could pose a serious problem, because the procedures for protecting archaeological finds are extremely lengthy, regardless of political pressure.
According to the press, one more issue was discovered that could add another 2-3 months to the project: the underground parking structure was in such bad shape that it needed to be rebuilt from the ground up. Even if the current works had not occurred, the parking on the Plaça de La Reina would have been closed because it was in desperate need of reinforcement all over.
To make matters worse, if this project is not completed on time, Valencia will lose not only the €3,35 million, but also an additional €7 million that has already been approved for new projects related to the Plaça de la Reina reconstruction.
Even if the work is finished by June 2023 and the City Council saves some money, missing the previously promised deadline of June 2022 will severely harm not only the city’s image, but also a few businesses around the Square that managed to survive the Pandemic.