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Proposals have been put forward for the creation of a new Innovation Park for leather and leather goods makers in the tanning town of Igualada. Industrial land in the town has been set aside for the scheme.
The Spanish Tanners’ Association, Acexpiel along with the Guild of Tanners from Igualada (Gremi de Blanquers d’Igualada) have announced that they want to set up leather hub around the town featuring tanners, leather goods makers and academic institutions.
The proposed Innovation Park will cover 244,000 m2 with 193,332 m2 of covered area and will be located next to the A2 motorway linking Barcelona to Madrid. The site is also close to a centre for teaching and research attached to the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC), the School of Engineering of Igualada (tanning department), which relocated in September 2014. The new university campus UPC-Igualada, will teach leather technology and share facilities with the technical centre formerly known as AIICA.
All plots at the new Innovation Park will be connected to the existing tannery treatment plants via a new collection system.
The project will allow tanners to relocate from the old town of Igualada and allow them the opportunity to expand and modernise to become more competitive on the international market.
It is intended that the skills from the local technical and academic institutions will also provide a stable and well-trained workforce in the future.
Currently, redevelopment of the former tannery site of “Adoberia Bella" will also host the ‘Igualada leather cluster Barcelona’ and will be known as the “European Capital of Quality Leather” to give more visibility to tanners and leather goods makers in the area. The project is being organised by the local guild of tanners in Igualada and the city authorities using public-private co-operation and finance.