Gibtelecom announces purchase of the Haven Building
Gibtelecom announced today that it will shortly be purchasing the Haven building at John Mackintosh Square from HM Government of Gibraltar. The building, which until recently housed the Government’s Treasury and other public sector offices, is being acquired on a 150 years lease for £5.8 million.
The Deputy Chief Minister and Chairman of the Company, The Hon Joseph Garcia, said “this is a win-win arrangement for the Government and the Company. The Government realises value for an asset that is in need of substantial investment, having relocated the Treasury, Gibraltar Savings Bank and other public offices to refurbished offices elsewhere. In addition, Gibtelecom would eventually decant from the top floor of the City Hall, where the main telephone exchange is currently located, enabling this building’s integrity and heritage to be fully restored. From Gibtelecom’s perspective they acquire a building, which was originally designed to be a telecommunications centre, where it would have the opportunity to expand and develop its technology and services for many decades to come”.
“The Haven, built in 1972 and originally planned to house the Gibraltar Government’s Telephone Department at the time, is of interest to Gibtelecom given it is already home to some of the Company’s technology which it would not now be economically viable to move elsewhere” said Tim Bristow, Gibtelecom’s CEO. “There are many benefits for the Company in acquiring these premises” he explained “as much of the fixed line, internet and some mobile technologies are located in the upper parts of the building. The Haven building is also connected to Gibtelecom’s John Mackintosh Square headquarters, which houses a number of the Company’s technical departments, as well as the Customer Services Centre. This purchase will also facilitate Gibtelecom in several years’ time vacating the City Hall and eventually removing the bridge that currently connects with the Haven building”.
Gibtelecom’s Technical Director, Xavi Bado added that “expansion of the technical facilities in the Haven building will allow the Company to house, amongst other things, its next generation communications switch that will eventually replace the existing System X telephone exchange. Although this is a medium term project that would happen in the next five to seven years, the Company needs to start planning at an early stage the extensive relocation of the copper and fibre cables from the City Hall”.
16 January 2014