The Sitges Town Council approved on Monday the new terms and conditions for the ‘exploitation of seasonal economic activities’ on the beaches of Sitges.
For a term of five years, the details define both the authorisations of the activities and the new image that they must have. The mayor of Sitges, Aurora Carbonell, said that ‘both the Beach Use Plan and the new authorisations are aimed at a better, more competitive, sustainable and innovative Sitges, with a coherent, first-class image and services which improve on what existed until now, both for the citizens and for the concessions themselves’.
‘We propose a new form of management,’ she said, ‘which expands the services and regulates the opening hours, and which rationalises the space. This allows us to maintain services on all beaches, except those that deserve special protection, and make better use of the space that citizens can enjoy.’
The local councillor for beaches, Guillem Escolà, said: ‘Sitges will have a new image this summer, uniform, integrated and modern for the beaches.’
The new terms and conditions change the design of the bars, which will have wood as the main material and white and blue as the predominant colours, with dimensions of 20m2, to include a bar and kitchen area, as well as a terrace area on a wooden platform of variable size depending on each beach.
With the aim of following a consistent appearance, the new specifications rule out the use of bright colours for the complementary furniture and furnishings, such as tables, chairs, pillows or mattresses. The same criteria will also be followed for the awnings and massage areas. Sunbeds will be made of 100% recyclable materials or wood.
Apart from a renewed image, one of the main novelties is the expansion of the activity of the bars with the incorporation of catering and barbecue services on all beaches, with the exception of nature areas and San Sebastián beach, where bar service and prepared food will still be offered. ‘These new services will allow the bars to be more competitive and promote a business model that requires more professional staff and allows for extended service hours,’ said Guillem Escolà.
The season for operating beach services will be from Easter to the weekend after 15 October, and high season is considered from 23 June, coinciding with the festival of Sant Joan, until 11 September, as well as weekends and public holidays. The terms and conditions set mandatory opening hours from 10am to 7pm, with the possibility of the bars offering bar service opening from 8am to 10pm and until 1am in high season (until 11pm out of season). Hours may be extended upon request to the Town Council for specific holidays.
‘The aim is to balance the type of services both for people looking for a leisure space on the beaches and for the family, sports or people looking to relax by the sea,’ said Escolà.
Private services on the beaches will begin to be installed once the 2022 Beach Use Plan has been approved by the Catalan government. The plan is that all the tendered services can be installed by June 2022, although the specifications establish a transitional period during the first year of validity, in the event that it is not possible to comply with all the characteristics of the facilities required.
With the approval of the terms and conditions for the operation of the beaches, the process for the submission of proposals by individuals, self-employed or companies interested in the beach service permits is now open. Sitges Town Council will evaluate aspects related to the design of the facilities, the programming of activities and services, the improvement of the quality of services, the application of environmental measures and the improvement of working conditions, among others.
One of the most important aspects that the Town Council has taken into account in the new specifications is to avoid that the economic criteria is the determining factor in the overall tender process, with the aim to encourage applications from small, medium-sized companies, and new entrepreneurs. Interested parties may apply for a maximum of three lots, of which only one lot may be awarded.
The tender process will also take into account proposals that encourage the preservation of the environment and the use of renewable energy, as well as measures to maintain the excellence of water and sand. Mandatory compliance requirements are included in aspects such as waste management and sustainability, such as the use of environmentally friendly cleaning and maintenance products, low-consumption lighting, the use of high-performance electrical appliances or the reduction of disposable products, among others. The new specifications will also evaluate the proposals that offer catering prepared with local products, ecological, from fair and responsible trade, and healthy products, incorporating dietary aspects and intolerances.
The Town Council also aims to prevent job insecurity on the beaches and to promote the quality and stability of jobs.
The tender process will also take into account the promotion of Sitges on the beaches. The new terms and conditions seek to strengthen the link between beach services and the local culture and traditions, the gastronomic heritage and other unique elements of Sitges.