Mtarfa old military hospital given on concession to become international school

Parliament has approved a resolution to transfer the building on a 40-year concession to Haileybury Malta Ltd, a company with no apparent background in education

Mtarfa old military hospital will transform into an international school
Mtarfa old military hospital will transform into an international school

The old military hospital in Mtarfa is set to become an international school after MPs on Wednesday approved a 40-year concession agreement.

Parliament’s National Audit Committee unanimously approved a resolution put forward by Education Minister Evarist Bartolo to transfer the property to Haileybury Malta Ltd.

However, it remains unclear as to what background in education the company and its ultimate shareholders have.

The company is expected to set up and run an international school, a gap in the country’s educational set up that has been felt for the past few years with a growing foreign population.

The Mtarfa building and its environs covering 26,608sq.m, will be transferred on a 40-year temporary emphytheusis. The company will pay a ground rent of €50,000 per year for the first five years, going up to €125,000 after that. An annual increase in ground rent of 8% will also apply.

Haileybury Malta Ltd is primarily owned by Atlantic Education Alliance Ltd.

The shares in Atlantic are split equally between RTG Holdings Ltd, ultimately owned by Ruth Galea Trapani, and Stanley Logistics Ltd, a British company based in Hertfordshire, owned by Anthony Michael Polak, a British national resident in Malta.

Polak and Galea Trapani are the directors of Haileybury.

Galea Trapani is a board member of the Malta Gaming Authority.

Government had issued a call for proposals for the setting up of an international school at the Mtarfa hospital in April last year. Haileybury was chosen as the preferred bidder.

In Parliament, Bartolo explained that government's initial proposal was to encourage existing private schools to expand their services but none took up the offer.

Entities falling within the Education Ministry that currently operate from offices inside the old hospital will be relocated, Bartolo added.