Castro Marim celebrated its Municipal Day last Thursday (June 24) with the inauguration of a beach boardwalk and an old people’s home in Altura – two projects the local council considered “vital” to the development of the borough.
The 1.5km boardwalk links Praia de Verdelago (Altura) and Praia da Lota (Manta Rota) and was built not only to attract more beachgoers but also to protect the dunes. In fact, the boardwalk is described as a ‘estrutura de salvaguarda’, or “protective structure”.
“This €1 million project is beneficial to the community, the environment and the local economy,” said Castro Marim Mayor Francisco Amaral, adding that 75% of the investment was covered by community funding.
The beach restaurants are due to be renovated soon and will also be linked to the boardwalk.
In attendance were also Rui de Andrade, Vila Real de Santo António’s port captain and Paula Noronha from the Portuguese Environmental Agency (APA).
The other highlight of the day was the official opening of the Cegonha Branca old people’s home and day care centre in Altura.
The project had been in the pipeline for many years but faced several setbacks, either due to lack of funding or licences.
It finally moved forward in 2017, led by Associação Cegonha Branca, “without any guarantee of financing from Social Security or community funding, relying only on a bank loan and the support of the local council, which provided the land, technical support and around €600,000 in funding,” the local authority said.
All in all, the construction of the home represents an investment of around €1.9 million.
The home, which was built near the Altura health centre and primary school, has capacity for 50 residents and is expected to create around 40 direct jobs.
The inauguration of the home was attended by Amadeu Chaves, president of Associação Cegonha Branca, Francisco Amaral, mayor of Castro Marim, and Margarida Flores, director of Faro’s Social Security District Centre.
Castro Marim’s Municipal Day also saw the official transfer of power of the presidency of the Guadiana Eurocity to Francisco Amaral, who has taken over from Natalia Santos, mayor of Spanish town Ayamonte.