Joe Garcia


The Chief Minister, self-appointed fan of GBC, was jumping with joy when announcing that he had decided to erect an office block on top of a listed building - but he is still in time to stop the sacrilege.

It remains relevant to recall the Tender Notice about South Jumpers Bastion published by the Government which, inter alia, said: "...the Government is open to any proposal as long as it is sympathetic to the historical and heritage nature of the Bastion."

That being the legal requirement of the tender, the Government ought to forthwith cancel the monstrosity that it now plans to place on top of the listed monument, which cannot be sympathetic, by any stretch of the imagination, to the historical and heritage nature of the Bastion.

What a monumental mess. At the last meeting of the development and planning commission, there was Claire Montado from the Heritage Trust objecting, once again, to the Government-funded new GBC studios that it is now planned to place on top of the listed monument.

Last December, the Chief Minister in fact made a rush move to announce what he termed as new premises for GBC when in fact planning clearance had not yet been obtained in what initially was going to be a corporate building, and then came the sudden change which had a potential investment of £7.5 million as a purchasing option or even the option of a £300,000 annual rental which GBC cannot meet despite ever-spiralling cost to the tax-payer.


However, there may be one way out which Mr Picardo should seriously consider, given that it is sympthetic to the historical and heritage nature of Jumper's Bastion, upholding the legal requirement and doing the right thing.

If the building has to go ahead, what would change everything is the use you make of it. And even if the building has inevitably to be proceeded with, instead of an office block, it could become a Maritime Museum.

You see, the place is called Jumper's Bastion after the naval officer who was one of the first to step onto land, and on that precise spot, during the capture of Gibraltar in 1704. Jumper's Bastion was named after him - Captain William Jumper. He was honoured to have the fortification named after him.

And, of course, we all know that the Royal Marines have the name 'Gibraltar' on their cap badge, another naval connection of world recognition.

We must not forget, either, that for many years we had HM Naval Dockyard in Gibraltar, which created many jobs for many years, as Gibraltar's main employer. Indeed, to this day there are numerous connections with Britain's military tradition and history.

There is much going for a Maritime Museum so that Gibraltar can do justice to the historical and heritage nature of Jumper's Bastion - and to so much more, including the strategic position of the place and its connection with the sea.


There are places in the UK where the naval heritage is properly remembered in a museum - so is it not about time that Gibraltar, which grew to become such a famous fortress and place, because of its naval heritage...with world renowned slogans such 'As safe as the Rock of Gibraltar, as strong as the Rock of Gibraltar.'

If the Chief Minister was able to rush into changing the use of the corporate building to something else, surely it would be right and proper to adhere to the requirements of the Government's own Tender Notice, converting the building into a much-lacking Maritime Museum which would be sympathetic to the historical and heritage nature of Jumper's Bastion, and indeed have a wider connotation with the civilian maritime life of Gibraltar as well.