Yachting the future - Cottonera
seeks its riches
The regeneration of the Vittoriosa waterfront has entered
a new phase in its development with the addition of yachting berths
inside the creek. For the consortia overseeing Vittoriosas renaissance
from Grand Order fortress to luxury playground, the cogs are turning
with yet another addition to the project responsible for Labours
downfall back in 1998.
With the launch of the Lm4 million 247-berth Grand Harbour Marina in
Vittoriosa (Birgu), the capacity of Malta's private yacht marinas is
to increase to over 1,500. Last year, marinas run by the Malta Maritime
Authority marinas catered for 1,024 berths while private marinas catered
for 240. The marina will also cater for 33 super-yachts as well as berthing
facilities for local amateurs.
Designed by Grand Harbour Marina together with Camper and Nicholsons
Marinas, the Cottonera Marina is a Lm4 million project. It will be administered
by Camper and Nicholsons through a management contract.
The berths have been provided with water and energy services, telephone
and ADSL lines as well as cable connections. However, last weeks
inauguration was marred by the series of ongoing works along the Vittoriosa
coastline, part of the Cottonera Waterfront project works, and unfinished
work gloriously piled in dust and construction rubble.
Dr Francis Zammit Dimech has gone on record saying the government wanted
to turn Malta into a yachting centre with all the modern amenities in
order to compete with similar places in the Mediterranean. He believes
Malta would provide an important base for all Mediterranean yachters.
Marinas have been money-magnets for years within the most developed
and less developed nations. Boaters making use of the Birgu marina will
provide a major source of foreign income that could do wonders for the
local economy with the purchasing power of marina tenants.
The direct effects include increased tax revenues, job
creation, added business for restaurants, shops and tourist attractions.
Pretty much a floating hotel. There are few aspects of an economy that
dont benefit from the presence of a successful marina.
According to the International Council of Marine Industry Associations,
marinas generate an average of 0.3 jobs per berth in the US, meaning
that a 200-berth marina could provide 60 jobs and a payroll in excess
of EUR892,000 (Source: Marinas, National Marine Manufacturers Associations
boating facilities development portfolio).
Added to these numbers is the regeneration value in terms of real estate
prices these bring to small, industrial-based locations such as Vittoriosa,
neglected by the ailing manufacturing economy and absence of a service
Other international figures attest to the success of marinas: In Ireland,
it was found that businesses in the vicinity of a marina might realise
up to 13 times as much income as the marina itself.
The 34 marinas in Turkey employ 1,000 people and generate nearly EUR178
million in annual income. It is estimated that five to 10 times that
amount is generated in indirect income. And a 1999 economic survey conducted
in Australia found that 500 marinas earned nearly $1.7 billion in revenues,
and paid nearly EUR446 million in direct wages.
In Belgium, with just 12 marinas and 3,500 boats along the North Sea
coast, marinas generate more than EUR6 million annually directly, plus
EUR2.67 million indirectly.
Increasingly, marinas are becoming a focal point for housing and office
locations with harbour views, which is where the St Angelo Mansions
come in. Although St Angelo Mansions aesthetic has come under
great criticism from certain quarters, it is hoped the development will
serve as an impetus for beautifying and cleaning up the Vittoriosa waterfront.