The region of Cabo Peñas extends its cartography along a strip of the central coast of the Principality, where the Cantabrian Sea bathes with its silver waves and foam the abrupt sport port of the north Asturian coast. Its landscape of cliffs, beaches, dunes, islets and plains, harmonizes a space of high environmental value, which is further enhanced by being surrounded by large urban and industrial areas of the region.
The region includes the municipalities of Carreño and Gozón. Both form a peri-urban-rural complex between two of the main urban centres of the Principality of Asturias: Avilés and Gijón. The distribution of the population is quite balanced. Carreño has a population of 10,545 inhabitants and Gozón 10,534 inhabitants. The territorial distribution of the population in both municipalities is characterized by the concentration in the two capitals (Candás and Luanco, respectively) of both densely populated municipalities and a large rural area with low density.
The economic and commercial activity of the region is marked by the importance of sectors such as industry or services, in comparison with the primary sector, which has a limited weight. This coexistence between industry and rural life is characteristic of this territory and is revealed not only in the maintenance of housing in the rural area, but also in the compatibility between industry and the maintenance of an agricultural activity and, above all, livestock.
THE MUNICIPALITY OF CARREÑO
On the shores of the Cantabrian Sea, at only 15 kilometres from Gijón, is the fishing village of Candás, capital of the council of Carreño. With its 6,836 inhabitants, Candás is the result of the work of many generations of fishermen, who over the centuries have shaped the seafaring idiosyncrasy of this town. The population of Carreño is concentrated mainly in the capital, Candás, and in this sense, it should be noted that the capital constitutes 62.5% of the total population of the municipality.
The port of Candás is not only a tradition, but also a magnificent support for sport fishing, nautical activities and has a special commitment to inclusive sports. The sporting enthusiasm that characterizes the people of Candás and Carreño for decades, is reflected in the numerous sports clubs of the municipality with very diverse disciplines. Neighbours have participated in the Olympic Games and have achieved 4 times the glory of medals.
Throughout history, the territory of the municipality of Carreño has been the object of intense human occupation and the exploitation of its natural resources, especially agriculture, livestock and fishing.
- Primary sector: Agriculture, livestock and fisheries
Livestock is the most important activity of the primary sector in the municipality of Carreño and has great importance within farms dedicated to the exploitation of meat. In comparison with the farms dedicated to the production of milk, the autochthonous bovine race “Asturian of the Valleys” (Asturiana de los Valles, in Spanish) is original of the council of Carreño. On the other hand, the production of vegetables has a very important presence in the countryside of Carreño, but also deserves a special mention the sea fishing, for its notorious presence in the popular culture and traditions of the town of Candás.
- Industrial sector
This sector has an important weight in local employment, as it is the first in the number of employments in the municipality: 2,686 jobs in 2016 (44.16% of total employment in the municipality). The implementation of industrial activities has its origin in the nineteenth century with the canned fish factories in Candás, but it was in the middle of the twentieth century, when began the booming period of industrial facilities in Carreño, mainly with the installation of large public companies in neighboring municipalities since the 50s.
- Services sector
This is the second sector of activity that creates more jobs in Carreño: 2,257 jobs in 2016 (37.10% of total municipal jobs) . The companies in this sector, with a very varied activity, have two main locations:
- Candás: where there is a very diverse fabric of SMEs
- Industrial estates: where industrial and business service companies abound (logistics, transport, distribution, repair workshops, etc.)
Candás, as the administrative capital of the municipality of Carreño, brings together most of the public and administrative services, and concentrates most of the commercial activity of the municipality. Most of the companies dedicated to commerce, as well as the main hotel and catering companies in Carreño (accommodation, bars, restaurants, “sidrerías“ which is a typical concept of restaurants in Asturias, etc. )are located in the capital. As far as tourism is concerned, Carreño is a traditional tourist destination within Asturias, due to its beaches and its gastronomy.
In this sense, the current opportunities for the creation of economic activity and employment can focus on the following:
- The sensitivity of society towards the environment and the improvement of natural or scenic areas of interest: in recent years, Spanish and European society has become increasingly sensitive to the recovery and conservation of the environment, understood as a fundamental value for the preservation of our environment.
- The urban world’s demand for leisure spaces and for goods and services in rural areas: the conception of the rural environment as the optimum space of enjoyment for urban populations is slowly opening up in today’s society. The coastline of the Carreño municipality, within the regional framework, is a consolidated tourist destination thanks to its gastronomy, hospitality and landscape offer. For this reason, the new demands of the urban population constitute a magnificent opportunity for the emergence of new activities in the rural parishes of the municipality.
POTENTIALITIES AND OPPORTUNITIES FOR DEVELOPMENT IN THE MUNICIPALITY
- Located in the central Asturian area, near the cities of Gijón, Avilés and the capital of the Principality of Asturias, Oviedo
- Variety of economic activities
- Industrial and business tradition
- Vocation as a leisure space
- Growth in the supply of rural tourism
- Relatively high level of qualification of the population
- Attraction of the urban population as a second residence
- Improvement of the equipment and services of rural parishes, especially those related to New Technologies (ICT): in this sense, the municipal network of “Digital Villages” stands out
- Heritage of cultural interest
- Privileged scenario for sports, especially those related to the sea (sailing, diving and swimming)
THE VILLAGE OF CANDÁS: Some examples of civil architecture and cultural life
- The Town Hall: sober and robust, it is an impressive 20th century building
- Prendes Theater: located near the town centre and with a large cultural agenda behind it
- The ‘Quinta Clarín‘: located in the district of La Rebollada, where the writer Leopoldo Alas Clarín spent long periods, which has included Candás in many of his stories
- The Prendes Tower (‘Torruxón’, in Asturian): it dates back to medieval times and is located on a small hill 7 kilometres from Candás. It is a military tower that was very active during Roman times and the kingdom of Asturias, which served as a passageway and to control agricultural and livestock areas
- The church of Santa María: located in the town of Piedeloro, has been declared a Historic-Artistic Monument and consists of a single Romanesque nave from the 12th century
- The Hermitage of San Roque: located in Fuxa Mountain, it was built at the beginning of the 16th century to implore the Saint so that the plague would not enter in Candás. On 16 August the feast of the Saint is celebrated, with a solemn mass in the chapel and, subsequently, a pilgrimage is held near it
- Hórreos and paneras (typical granaries that differ in the number of pillars -‘pegollos’, in Asturian- they have), fountains, lime kilns (known in Asturias as “caleros“) or ancient medieval lavatories… go through all the villages of the council
- The Dark Cave (Perlora): It stands out archaeologically because the presence of the first settlers of Carreño was detected there. On the other hand, the ‘Pelora Holiday City’ (Ciudad de Vacaciones de Perlora, in Spanish) had more than 50,000 visitors per season at its best. Perlora is located 2km from Candás, on the shores of the sea, has access to two beaches and viewpoints of the Bay of Biscay (Golfo de Vizcaya, in Spanish). Today it is in a state of manifest deterioration, but the aim is to tackle this problem by giving it a new approach to tourism