Mayor says Loulé has gone “from a quiet town to a vibrant, modern city loved by its people”
Loulé celebrated its 35th anniversary on February 1 since being given ‘cidade’ (city) status by providing an update on all the major investments being carried out.
Mayor Vítor Aleixo marked the occasion with a speech giving an overview of the last 35 years in Loulé, which he said has gone “from a quiet town to a vibrant, modern city loved by its people”.
According to Aleixo, Loulé has been able to “balance tradition and heritage with modernisation, which has allowed it to adapt to the needs of today’s society.
“This is a city with soul, values and principles; a city that, despite not being located on the coast, attracts people and boasts a dynamic population.”
The celebration continued with visits to some of the main projects underway in Loulé.
“Many millions of euros of public investment” are in the pipeline to “solve the problems of this city and of the people who live and work here,” the council promised.
The tour started with a stop at the construction site of Loulé’s northern ring road, which is in its second phase and is described as the “final step” towards the road’s completion.
The project, which was first developed around three decades ago, represents an investment of around €4 million. Work started in November and is going “according to plan”, confirmed the engineers in charge.
“It is a project that will reduce traffic within the city, as well as improve the environment as there will be less noise and pollution,” said Aleixo.
The next stop was Loulé’s future health building, which will include Portugal’s first ‘university health centre’ and bring together several health services.
Representing a €5 million investment (65% council money and 35% State money), the facility will be home to the local family health unit ‘USF Lauroé’, the community care unit ‘UCC Gentes de Loulé’ and the headquarters of the Central Algarve health centre group (ACES Central).
The mayor also checked up on the progress at Ribeira do Cadoiço stream, where a new system is being constructed to reduce pollution at the beauty spot.
The €1.5 million project will “restore beauty and life” to the area, the mayor said, allowing people to enjoy the outdoors “while listening to the natural sound of running water”.
Also underway is the construction of a new kindergarten and primary school, Escola JI+EB1 Hortas de St. António 2, representing an investment of €2.5 million. Providing an extra 200 vacancies for children aged three to 10, it will feature four kindergarten classrooms and four primary school classrooms, as well as a kitchen, cafeteria, library, multiuse room, playing field and playground equipment.
Construction is due to be completed by May 31, which means the school will likely be ready for the next 2023/2024 school year.
The tour ended with a visit to the future regional headquarters of the INEM emergency services.
Set near the Via do Infante (A22) motorway bypass, the €1.8 million investment is described as “extremely important” as it will pave the way for the return of the Emergency Patients Monitoring Centre (CODU), which was shut down in 2012 by the ‘troika’.
While it was not part of the mayor’s tour around the city, the expansion of Loulé’s heliport was also singled out by Vítor Aleixo as it will allow six aircraft to be stationed at the same time, making it the “most important helicopter base in the Algarve”.
On a closing note, the mayor expressed confidence about the future and said the council is “focused on working for the people”.