13 NOVEMBER 2002
Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi and Resources and Infrastructure Minister Francis Zammit Dimech recently delivered an update on the major infrastructural projects implemented by the government this term.
Dr Gonzi explains, "Our country has been embellished over the past four years. As a result of infrastructure projects undertaken directly by Government, the quality of life of the Maltese has continued to improve. Government has also encouraged a number of major projects with substantial investment by the private sector."
Major projects backed by private investment
Three major projects, the Cottonera project, Tigne Point and Manoel Island and the Valletta Cruise Liner Terminal will involve an investment of around Lm160 million. These will also create hundreds of jobs as well as contribute significantly to the regeneration of their respective localities.
Regeneration of the Cottonera Area
Following the opening of the Casinò Di Venezia in a restored palace, work is underway on the construction of apartments and commercial premises and further restoration of historic buildings. Quays are being repaired and a yacht marina will be developed.
Manoel Island and Tigne Point
Extensive preparatory work has been carried out at Tigne, where over 400 residences, shops, restaurants and offices will be built. The project also includes sports and recreational facilities and underground parking for almost 2,000 vehicles. At Manoel Island, extensive restoration work is being carried out. Here a new village will include around 350 accommodation units, parks and gardens. The shoreline will also be developed. Both Fort Manoel and Tigne Point will be accessible to the public.
A new impetus for Grand Harbour
The VISET Consortium has undertaken a major development project in the Grand Harbour area, including the construction of a new Cruise Liner Passenger Terminal and International Sea Passenger Terminal as well as the restoration of historic buildings close to the site, such as Pinto Stores, Forni Stores, and the Old Power Station. Construction works are already underway.
Benefits of large projects
Large projects such as these have a number of positive effects on the economy as well as on the infrastructure. The Portomaso project at St. Julians comprising a hotel, commercial establishments, apartments and car parking facilities has already created a number of business opportunities and jobs in a number of areas and is expected to continue to do so in the future.
Embellishment of localities throughout Malta
Localities throughout the Maltese Islands have been upgraded as a result of embellishment projects involving an investment of Lm4 million. The Sliema Promenade has been completed as have the first phases of the St Julians project, which includes new belvederes. Other embellishment and upgrading projects have been completed at Birzebbuga, Marsascala, St Thomas Bay and Mellieha.
Extensive rehabilitation and restoration of our heritage
The Valletta Rehabilitation Project has encompassed restoration of St Johns Co-Cathedral, a new lighting system for Republic Street and street paving. Historic buildings have also been restored at Floriana, Mdina, Bormla, l-Isla, and Birgu. The Restoration Unit has successfully completed over 70 projects while a further 50 are currently being undertaken. Lm8 million have been spent on rehabilitation and restoration over the past four years.