Benghajsa fort to be returned to government

The government has stopped accepting rents from its three tenants in the historical Benghajsa fort and intends to evict them.

The fort has been used for animal husbandry activities and the rearing of cows and bulls since the early 1970s. Part of the fort was rented in 1973 for an annual €93. In 1981, another plot was rented out for an annual €177 while a third plot was rented in 1996 for an annual €419.

The rents were renewed every year until a few months ago when the government stopped accepting the rents.

The fort was built in its unique pentagonal style by the British between 1910 and 1912 to protect Marsaxlokk Bay. The fort was abandoned by the British in the late 1970s.

Another fort currently in private hands in St Leonard fort in Zabbar which is also used for the rearing of cows and bulls.

The fort was first leased in 1973 for a paltry sum of €93 a year. The rent is renewed by the government each year. Perhaps one of the least known of Victorian forts in Malta, it was built in the polygonal style by the British between 1872 and 1878.

Its layout consists of an internal ditch which segregates the battery from the keep, physically dividing the fort. It was used as a military establishment until the 1970s.

Since 1991 the Tas-Silg fort in Marsaxlokk has been for an annual €232 rented to the Island Sanctuary as a dog shelter.

The British built this fort to stand on high ground at the shoreward end of Delimara Point. It is one of a ring of forts and batteries that protected Marsaxlokk harbour. The gatehouse and part of the ditch are in fair repair, but there has been considerable collapse of the inner face of the north ditch.

Curiously, the various private occupants pay far less than Heritage Malta does for renting Fort Delimara which costs the national heritage agency €764 a year,

Fort Delimara was built by the British between 1876 and 1888 and was one of a ring of forts and batteries protecting Marsaxlokk harbour. It still houses the world's last remaining four 38-ton guns mounted on dwarf carriages. After being used as a pig farm for about 15 years, in 2005 the government handed the fort over to Heritage Malta.

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