The Government has said it agreed the sale of the plot of land comprised of the area that was the old Bayside Comprehensive School and the old St Anne’s Middle School to the highest bidder.
This followed an Expression of Interest process for the site which has been earmarked for redevelopment for many years now.
The award has been made to the TNG Global Foundation in the sum of £21,200,000.00 (twenty one million, two hundred thousand pounds sterling).
The agreed sum is considerably in excess of other bids received for the plot and reflects the long term investment objectives of the TNG Global Foundation, said the Govt.
The TNG Global Foundation was recently established in Gibraltar by Mr Tuan Tran, the ultimate beneficial owner of Trusted Novus Bank.
The sites in question presently house the current sites of the Bishop Fitzgerald Upper Primary School and Governor’s Meadow Lower Primary School.
The development of the site remains subject to approval by the Development and Planning Commission and all relevant and applicable permits, environmental and aeronautical requirements etc.
Vacant possession of the site will not be granted until the new Bishop Fitzgerald and the new Governor’s Meadow school have been re-provided in the area at Europort Avenue which has been earmarked for them.
As part of the award, the TNG Global Foundation will be responsible for the development of the two new schools to the specification required by the Government.
The specifications of these schools have been completed by the Department of Education in close consultation with the teaching body in each of the schools. Costs for the construction of these schools were previously submitted to the Government.
TNG Global Foundation have already engaged Casais for the work on the schools.
The cost of construction of the Bishop Fitzgerald and Governor’s Meadow schools is estimated to be £29,200,000.00 (twenty nine million, two hundred thousand pounds sterling).
The Government says it will therefore be liable to pay the difference between the agreed premium of the Bayside/St Anne’s plot and the cost of the schools.
Government have said that any savings secured in the development of the schools by the TNG Global Foundation will be disclosed, on a good faith, open book basis to the Government and will be for the account of the Government and the taxpayer to ensure the maximum benefit to Gibraltar as a whole from the building of these schools in the most efficient and cost effective manner, to the highest specification (as provided for by the Government) and in that way further demonstrate the TNG Global Foundation’s commitment to the Gibraltar community as whole.
The contract for the completion of the new Bishop Fitzgerald and Governor’s Meadow schools at Europort Avenue anticipates completion in time for the start of the new academic year in September 2023.
Works on the Europort Avenue new schools, which will have to be completed in a manner that does not cause disruption to St Martin’s School which is already operating in the area, will commence immediately.
Site clearance in the Europort Avenue site is already complete and Casais mobilisation has already been agreed.
Adrian Olivero, a spokesperson for the TNG Global Foundation, said: “The TNG Global Foundation is delighted to have the opportunity to contribute to the Gibraltar community by building two new schools for Her Majesty’s Government of Gibraltar. The Foundation is equally excited to embark upon the development of a vibrant, multi-use project at the site of the old Bayside and St Anne’s schools. Following the acquisition of Trusted Novus Bank last year, the founder of TNG Global Foundation, Mr Tuan Tran, is further cementing his relationship with Gibraltar and contributing to the community. We very much look forward to now engaging with all the stake holders in the area as we begin our consultation in the preparation of our plans for the development of this scheme and its submission to the DPC and other relevant authorising bodies.”
The Minister for Education, Hon Professor John Cortes MP, said: “I am very pleased that work on these two news schools will now commence. The specification for these schools is identical to that of the new St Anne’s and Notre Dame. All our children deserve the same high standard of school environment and with the work underway on the new St Mary’s, Bishop Fitzgerald and Governor’s Meadow schools, we are well on the way to achieving that. We will have work to do on our Hebrew School and will start on that as soon as we have relocated St Mary’s.”
The Deputy Chief Minster, the Hon Dr Joseph Garcia CMG MP, said: “We have worked hard to ensure that we have found the best option for the taxpayer in the decisions we have made to award this plot. The site is one that has specific Obstacle Limitation Surface issues relating to the proximity of the runway and is surrounded by residential, sporting and commercial facilities. We therefore needed to ensure that we found the right fit. I believe that this is a project that works well in this area and is designed to be a good and welcome neighbour to all those around it. This is a large site and the development of it must be done sensitively to ensure that it is complimentary to the whole area and provides a positive net gain for those who live and work there. The consultation which the Development and Planning Commission process will require will also ensure that the views of those who live, work or otherwise make use of the area will be carefully considered. I am confident that this will therefore be a project that works for all whilst also delivering two new schools and renewing the whole vicinity in a very positive way.”
The Chief Minster, the Hon Fabian Picardo QC MP, said: “I am very pleased to see this commitment from the TNG Global Foundation to the development of the Bayside and St Anne’s plots. I know that their ideas for this area are to create a magnificent destination that will be a good and welcome neighbour to the residential, sporting and commercial developments which lie around it. I believe that the object will be to create a complimentary facility and to ensure that provides a mix of residential, leisure, commercial and hotel opportunities for the area. I look forward to seeing the development of those plans and to the wide consultation exercise that TNG Global will be undertaking as part of the work of the Development and Planning Commission’s role in the control and nurturing of developments in Gibraltar. The premium far exceeds the sums proposed by any other interested party. We will soon see the start of work on two new school projects to relocate the schools presently temporarily re-provided on these plots. In fact, there will now be work ongoing on three schools simultaneously in a manner that does not require the Government to put up capital during this difficult period for the public finances. The award of this site and the delivery of the schools will create much needed economic activity in our economy at this time. I very much look forward to being in a position to hand vacant possession of the old Bayside / St Anne’s site to the TNG Global Foundation when they have handed over to us the new lower and upper primary schools at Europort Avenue. That will be another great day for the children of Gibraltar!”