Biggest urban project in Portugal ‘officially launched’
Adrian Bridge of Taylor’s Port has officially launched the biggest urban regeneration project in Portugal with ‘The World of Wine’.
Occupying more than 30,000 m2 in Vila Nova de Gaia on the southern banks of the river Douro – overlooking the city of Porto – work will begin on The World of Wine in November this year, according to Adrian Bridge, CEO of The Fladgate Partnership.
During an interview with the drinks business at Vinexpo Bordeaux last month, Bridge described the project as “officially launched”, having appointed a design agency called Scruffy Dog to handle the look of the visitor attraction, which he said was the “biggest urban regeneration project in the nation and probably the biggest in Europe”.
Continuing, he confirmed that construction will begin in November this year, starting with demolition work and earth moving, which he explained would have to be done during the winter when the streets weren’t full of tourists.
As previously reported by db, The World of Wine is a €100 million visitor attraction situated on land owned by The Fladgate Partnership that is currently filled with empty warehouses.
It is just beneath the group’s 83-room hotel called The Yeatman, which itself is undergoing expansion, as it gains an extra 26 bedrooms to meet an increasing demand for top-end accommodation in Porto.
Due to feature within the The World of Wine is a museum on the history of Porto, a museum on the cork industry, a wine school, a slow food restaurant and events space, along with nine further restaurants, a retail area, and a fashion and design museum to celebrate the textile industry of northern Portugal.
Speaking at Vinexpo, Bridge stressed that it wouldn’t be another tourist attraction based on Port.
“It will be a wine experience, it has nothing to do with Port,” he said, before explaining, “And the reason for that is there are 20 different Port cellar experiences in Vila Nova de Gaia already.”
He also told db that it was vital the city of Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia created attractions to encourage visitors to stay in the area for longer periods.
“The average stay in Porto is 2.6 days and if we can shift that to 3.5 days, then it’s three nights, and that will bring a 50% increase in demand for hotels, but people will only stay longer if they have things to do, we need to make things that make people come to the city,” he said.
Adrian Bridge is CEO of The Fladgate Partnership, which owns the Taylor’s, Fonseca and Croft Port houses, as well as CEO of The Yeatman, a luxury hotel in Porto containing a restaurant with two Michelin stars.