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Barcelona offers 'Torre Agbar' for new European Medicines Agency headquarters

The Torre de Glòries, an emblematic modern tower widely known as the “Torre Agbar”, with its 33.000 square meters and distinguished design by Jean Novel, is Barcelona's candidate for the new location for the European Medicines Agency (EMA) headquarters. The decision was made last Friday by the representatives of the City of Barcelona, the Government of Catalonia, and the Spanish government. The Mayoress of Barcelona, Ada Colau, the Spanish Minister of Healthcare, Dolors Montserrat, and the Catalan Minister of Health, Antoni Comín had already agreed to join forces for the promotion of the Catalan capital’s candidacy in an earlier meeting two weeks ago.

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24 April 2017 10:42 PM

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ACN

Barcelona (ACN).- The Torre de Glòries, an emblematic modern tower widely known as the “Torre Agbar”, with its 33.000 square meters and distinguished design by Jean Novel, is Barcelona's candidate for the new location for the European Medicines Agency (EMA) headquarters. The decision was made last Friday by the representatives of the City of Barcelona, the Government of Catalonia, and the Spanish government. The Mayoress of Barcelona, Ada Colau, the Spanish Minister of Healthcare, Dolors Montserrat, and the Catalan Minister of Health, Antoni Comín had already agreed to join forces for the promotion of the Catalan capital’s candidacy in an earlier meeting two weeks ago.


Barcelona's proposal to house the European Medicines Agency gained momentum with the decision to put forward this well-known and emblematic building. Colau, Montserrat and Comín, announced the decision only a day after the Netherlands and France presented their projects to house the European organism in Amsterdam or in Lille, respectively. Currently, the EMA’s headquarters are located in London, but the agency will have to move its offices after Brexit.

In a statement, the Barcelona city council underlined the fact that the building complies with all technical requirements for housing the organization, thanks to its central location, connectivity, communications, transports, and infrastructures.

The city council has already received the compulsory acceptance letter from the owner, Merlin Properties Socimi, which has guarantees that it will reserve the building for the Agency until the end of June of this year, when the final location for the institution must be decided.

The real estate agency Merlin Properties bought the tower from Grup Agbar for 142 million euros after the Emin Capital led investment group withdrew from an earlier project to transform the tower into a luxury hotel due to hurdles presented by the city council.

In their meeting, Colau, Montserrat, and Comín also agreed on promoting the creation of a Citizen Council of Support, whose objective will be to seek further support for Barcelona's candidature. The Deputy Mayor of Enterprise, Innovation and Culture, Jaume Collboni, also took part in the meeting.

The European Medicines Agency, with its 900 employees, works regularly with more than 1,6000 companies that could also decide to move to the new location. Additionally, the agency receives more than 40,000 visits a year. Housing the EMA at the Torre de Glòries would also provide an opportunity to promote the development of the city’s @22 technological district.

Barcelona also proposed a candidacy when the agency was founded in 1992, but lost the run-off against London.

 

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  • Torre Glòries, also known as Torre Agbar, a landmark on the Barcelona skyline (Arxiu ACN)

  • Torre Glòries, also known as Torre Agbar, a landmark on the Barcelona skyline (Arxiu ACN)