Talks between the Gibraltar government and the preferred Blue Water project developer, Camoren Holdings, are still proceeding about the scheme for the east side of the Rock.

Blue Water was originally launched in 2015 as a £1.1bn development to include a 70-berth superyacht-only marina. The project was set to be Gibraltar’s largest inward investment development, with the marina and some of the large proposed upland facilities set to be completed for next year.

Gibraltar’s Minister for Tourism, Employment, Commercial Aviation and the Port, the Hon Gilbert Licudi, told IBI last week at the World Travel Market in London: “There have been financial issues which have delayed the project. We are completely rethinking the project and changes are being made, but a marina is still an important part of Blue Water. That marina is necessary to meet the growing yachting sector in Gibraltar.”

Fabian Picardo, MP and Gibraltar’s Chief Minister, told a local media outlet: “What has happened is that the plot [the reclaimed area on the east side] has got much bigger since we were elected. We extended the reclamation. That is where all the builder’s rubble goes in Gibraltar until it’s developed.

Picardo said that the issue of the Blue Water development has not been resolved as he would have liked to have seen it resolved, but that detailed negotiations are ongoing.

“No final deal has been struck yet on some of the aspects of that transaction, which I think are important to the people of Gibraltar,” he said.

Picardo referred to Brexit, saying it had not helped the situation. He said: “That’s put an element of uncertainty into some aspects of the negotiations but we are keen to do it, Camoren is keen to do it. We are keen to try and come to terms.”

Picardo confirmed that Camoren are still the preferred bidder and he commented: “They are the people we are in discussion with. They are driving a hard bargain because they are commercial men; we’re driving a hard bargain because we have an obligation to do so. I can reassure you that we could have done a deal on Blue Water and got it going but it would have been the wrong deal for the Government of Gibraltar. It would not have been the deal that we think the taxpayer in Gibraltar deserves and that’s why we haven’t done it.”

It is a “watch this space” situation and currently there appears to be no indication of when a deal might be concluded and work started.