€24 million project for the regeneration of lower Valletta announced

EU-funded project aims to add value to Valletta’s heritage, improve infrastructure and social housing

Staff Reporter
28 September 2017, 10:55am
Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi and Parliamentary Secretary for European Funds and Social Dialogue Aaron Farrugia have announced a €24 million project to regenerate the lower Valletta area, known as il-Mandragg.

“Valletta is the jewel of our country,” Mizzi said, “our idea is to commit to a varied regeneration through which residents, sports organisations, commercial outlets and visitors can benefit.”

Mizzi said the main Auberges of the city will be regenerated, as will areas of social housing, commercial areas, the Valletta promenade, and the water polo pitch.

Farrugia said that the Parliamentary Secretariat for EU Funds and Social Dialogue had been entrusted with the project, and had identified an area for regeneration which spanned the distance between the Fortification Interpretation Centre and Fort St Elmo.

When asked if such regeneration risks pricing residents out as a consequence of gentrification, Mizzi emphasised that improving social housing in the area would be an integral part of the regeneration initiative. “There will be a strong social context to the project,” he said.

The project, which is being funded by the European Regional Development Fund 2014-2020 programming period, needs to be complete by 2020 to comply with the funding regulations. A coordination committee, led by Permanent Secretary Paul Zahra, was appointed to coordinate the project.

Mizzi also added that a “Connections Project” is being discussed, which would link Sliema, Valletta and The Three Cities via an 800m-long under-sea tunnel designed for long ferryboats to pass through.