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This May on Formentera, get a dose of culture, fitness, gastronomy and tech

Foto mitja marato xavi garcia turFormentera's office of tourism presents the latest “Discover Formentera in May”. The campaign, in which the Formentera Council helps coordinate tourism-friendly events, offers the island's visitors deep discounts on ferry rides, car hires, accommodation and other low-season perks.

Photography and IT
Among this year's standout features is Formentera Fotogràfica, set to kick off this Friday, April 27, and continue to Tuesday, May 1. The pro event is open to photography lovers of all stripes.

Also set to hit the island this May is Formentera 2.0, where online communication and digital culture will come together under one banner for four days beginning Thursday, May 3. For more information, visit www.formentera20.com.

Culture and music hold premier spots on this year's Discover Formentera in May bill. First, there's the 2018 inaugural edition of l'Inhòspit from May 3-5 (Thursday through Saturday). The sampling of new theatre is part of the social and cultural programme offered at la Mola's Casa del Poble.

A forum for new theatre, dance and performance art, l'Inhòspit consists in three nightly performances at three points across la Mola: in the woods (bosc de ses Planes), at the foot of a windmill (molí d'en Botigues) and in the town square, plaça del Pilar. The event congregates more than twenty artists from different quarters of contemporary theatre and eight troupes—two from the island, one from Eivissa, two from Mallorca, two from Barcelona and one from Wales.

Descending upon the island from May 31 to June 3 is Formentera Jazz Festival. Formentera's artisan markets get under way the first weekend of the month—one more reason to visit the island in May.

Another sports fixture in the offing is the island's half marathon on May 12. Then, May 24–26, there's the Marnatón (a merger of mar, or sea, and the Spanish word for “marathon”) and the tenth Formentera to Run (May 27–June 3). The thirtieth Penyal d'Ifac regatta rounds out the bill from May 31 to June 2, for jam-packed month of fitness- and eco-friendly tourism.

Gastro weekends
Another main draw this May is the island's promotion of local gastronomy, an initiative known in Catalan as Caps de setmana Gastronòmics. Numerous island eateries join the fine-dining cause this year as the initiative unfolds over the first two weekends of the month (May 4–6 and May 11–13).

Participating restaurants offer gastronomic samplers at €20 (drinks not included), featuring dishes specially tuned for the occasion. Whether the food is traditional or represents a rehashing of an old favourite, dishes are always fresh, creative takes and are priced to move. Visit www.formentera.es for all the details.

New by-law on outdoor patios

Foto Can RafalThe Formentera Council land and tourism offices remind the island's business owners that a new ordinance took effect on January 31 regulating outdoor installations like terraces.

Occupancy permits issued under the previous ordinance are now invalid, and business proprietors who wish to exercise activity on the public thoroughfare must once again request authorisation for any outdoor instalations.

Article 10 of the ordinance (available on the website of the CiF office of urbanism) sets out the supporting documentation necessary to request a permit.

A reminder: under the new by-law, permits will not be granted to establishments that fail to guarantee business activity between May 15 and October 15.

Officials drop in at sa Senieta, future home of Formentera museum

Foto sa senieta 2Formentera Council president Jaume Ferrer, joined by regional tourism secretary and vice-president of the Govern balear, Bel Busquets; regional culture secretary Fanny Tur; local culture and patrimony secretary Susana Labrador and the island's secretary of tourism and land, Alejandra Ferrer, took a visit this morning to the “casa de sa Senieta”, the future seat of the Formentera museum.

Sa Senieta
The Council bought the property on December 19, 2017 for €2.5 million, of which one million came from the so-called “Sustainable Tourism Tax”and another million and a half from the Balearic ministry of culture. The remaining one million was put up by the Formentera Council.

Vice-President Busquets highlighted the significance of the sustainable tourism levy in the purchase. Sa Senieta —which Busquets calls“part of Formentera's cultural heritage”— will house the island's museum, giving, in Busquet's prediction, visibility to the benefits of the tax, “not just for the Balearics, but for Formentera in particular”.

President Ferrer held up cooperation between administrations as crucial to the sa Senieta purchase going through. According to Ferrer, the acquisition —a long-standing request of locals, he said— was“fruit of the partnership between the Council and the Balearic government's ministries of tourism and culture”.

The Balearic minister of culture, Fanny Tur, pointed to additional funding to the tune of €0.5 million to adapt the building for use as a museum.

Proof of sa Senieta's importance locally, the home is the only site on the island which is catalogued and designated pursuant to a piece of legislation known as “Llei 12/1998” concerning historical heritage sites in the islands.

In addition to sa Senieta, which will house a permanent collection and general services for the public, Formentera's future museum network will consist of two other spaces: la casa de Can Ramon will host exhibitions culled from the Formentera museum's ethnographic collection and the lot adjacent to another local landmark, el Fossar Vell, will feature archives, a specialist library, a conference hall and exhibition gallery, a drop-off and reservation spot and a research area.

The local circuit, a quality service for residents and tourists alike, will meet all the requirements of the museum legislation of the Balearic Islands.

Formentera prepares for fresh dose of theatre in inaugural l'Inhòspit

foto inhospit 2Cultural collective Espai F pulled the curtain back today on l'Inhòspit, a sampling of new theatre that audiences in la Mola can see this May. The offices of tourism and culture of the Formentera Council are providing support for the event.

Thursday through Saturday (May 3-5) l'Inhòspit will take over la Mola's social and cultural hangout, la Casa del Poble, from 7.00pm.  

Organisers project the festival will be yearly, with this year's edition envisioned as a forum for new theatre, dance and performance art. Three nightly performances are planned at three points across la Mola: in the woods (bosc de ses Planes), at the foot of a windmill (molí d'en Botigues) and in the town square, plaça del Pilar.

In its inaugural year, the festival will draw more than twenty artists from different quarters of contemporary theatre and eight troupes, two from the island, one from Eivissa, two from Mallorca, two from Barcelona and one from Wales.

Nightly concerts closing the event will be held in Can Toni bar.

Formentera announces first info sessions on regional funding

The European Union's Directorate General of funding, in collaboration with Centre Balears Europa and the Balearic Islands' Agència de Turisme and support from a coterie of entities including the Formentera Council, the local small and medium-sized business association (PIMEF), the chamber of commerce for Formentera and Eivissa and the island's coalition of hotel owners, have put together a day for freelancers and business owners to find out about regional incentives powered by funding from the European Union and promoted by the Spanish government.

Regional incentives
The state's “regional incentives” have a number of aims: stimulating business activity and directing it at specified areas to reduce disparities on the national plain, achieving a fairer distribution of economic assistance, and reinforcing individual regions' capacity for growth.

The EU co-finances a large portion of aid for regional incentives using the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), part of an effort to stimulate creation of new businesses in Spain's disadvantaged regions.

Qualifying projects:
New businesses, with investments that create new business activity and jobs.

Expansions, with investments that drive growth of activity already established or the start of new activity. For pre-existing activity, whether or not it relates to the applicant's current activity, qualifying projects must involve significant increases to production capacity. Expansions must entail the creation of new jobs and the maintenance of existing ones.

Modernisations, with investments that constitute a considerable portion of the modernising business's tangible fixed assets and involve purchase of cutting-edge machinery that generates measurable productivity increases. Investment must drive diversification of a business's production activity to new or additional markets, or mean fundamental transformation in a pre-existing business's overarching production process. Existing positions within the company must be maintained.

Qualifying Formentera businesses must make investments that involve creation of a new business, expansion of pre-established business activity, or launch of an activity that involves a fundamental change in product or production process.

The event is scheduled to take place at 11.30am on Monday, March 26 in the Sala d'Actes of the Formentera Council.

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