Oeiras invests €400M on European Culture Capital bid
Oeiras Municipal Council has earmarked a massive €400 million investment in its bid to convince mandarins in the European Union that it has all the qualities to be European Culture Capital in 2027.
The investment involves restoring historic buildings in the city and municipality and creating various new spaces of a museological, cultural and events nature.
“This represents a leap in quality and quantity in terms of culture” says Isaltino Morais, Mayor of Oeiras Municipal Council.
Speaking about the third phase of his project for the borough, the mayor told daily newspaper DN: “In six years we will invest €400 million, with €50 million already earmarked for works on the new council offices which will begin shortly,” he said.
The mayor said that there had been a first phase related to territorial planning, and a second phase that aimed at attracting companies from the tertiary and technology sectors and which has placed the borough as one of the best municipalities in which to live and work in the European Union.
Isaltino Morais says that this mega project is motivated by Oeiras’ application to be a candidate for the EU’s European Capital of Culture in 2027 and represents “the start of a new cycle of development.”
Among the main projects slated for the next few years include:
Building a new Linda-a-Velha Cultural Centre which will be a concert and performance hall with a 1400 person capacity.
The construction of the Paço de Arcos Congress Centre.
Development of a Porto Salvo Creative Industries Hub.
The building of a Castro de Leceia Historic Visitors Centre showcasing the monuments and artefacts from the site of a Stone Age settlement.
The restoration of the Cartuxa de Caxias Convent which will house an international contemporary arts centre.
Areeiro Battery – a maritime fortifications museum project.
Fabrica de Cima – An old 18th century Gunpowder Factory will be subject to the installation of cinema, performance and visual arts centre.
The National Agronomic Station will soon have a number of different uses from culture to dining.
The 18th century Marquis de Pombal Palace will be turned into museum for arts, sciences and technology.
Oeiras is competing to be the European Culture Capital 2027 against other Portuguese cities such as Leiria, Coimbra, Faro, Viana do Castelo, Aveiro, Évora, Braga and Guarda.
On Thursday, Oeiras unveiled its strategic plan called Oeiras 27 for its application to become European Culture Capital 2027.
The plan rests on 5 main pillars, namely ‘Urban Ecosystem,’ ‘Capital of Poetry and the Cultures of the Portuguese Language,’ ‘Oeiras Capital of Arts and Creativity,’ ‘Oeiras, Capital of Cultural Heritages’ and ‘Oeiras, Capital of Maritime Heritage.’
Isaltino Morais says that these “projects will over the next decade turn the borough of Oeiras, with its 46km2 and the City of Oeiras, into a polynuclear city built around culture which will be projected nationally and internationally as a place for Arts, Science and Technology, making a contribution to the importance of the entire Lisbon Metropolitan Area and the country as a whole.”
The winning city will be announced in 2023 and will receive a grant of €25 million via the next round of EU community funding for Portugal 2020-2030.