After last April saw the announcement of the financing of a €2.2 million project on the Sirens Aquatic Club in St Paul’s Bay, thanks to the Planning Authority’s Development Planning Fund, Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects Ian Borg and Parliamentary Secretary for Planning and the Property Market Chris Agius visited the site where works have already begun.
Minister Borg announced that so far, the Development Planning Fund has already led to more than 100 projects around our country, with a value of almost €12 million. This fund is financed by the parking scheme which injects 70% of income to the same fund and the regularisation scheme which injects 20% of its income to this fund – a scheme that generated over €29 million in the last three years and that has now been extended again. Therefore, said Minister Borg, it is clear that there is an authority which is always initiating schemes and initiatives to improve the quality of our buildings and of the environment we live in while taking that income and giving it back to the community. He said that today there are €32 million available for community projects in the Development Planning Fund.
He reminded those present that the project he was visiting today was only possible thanks to this fund and said that up until now, the Sirens Aquatic Club, which is implementing the project, has completed what is known as the wave wall at a cost of around €280,000, an element that was essential both for the added comfort and safety of Sirens facility users as well as to avoid further damage after that incurred in the great storm earlier this year.
The total investment on this site includes the improvement of the pool and ancillary facilities related to sport – i.e. changing rooms, toilets, spectator stands etc, as well as widening the use of the site by adding a gym and diving centre underground.
Minister Ian Borg said that, “this investment will lead to several benefits, both for those who are enthusiasts of swimming and waterpolo, as well as for all those communities living in St Paul’s Bay or surrounding areas and who make use of the facilities provided by Sirens. Thanks to these projects, we continue investing in our country’s infrastructure on every level, this time in infrastructure towards sport facilities, more spaces for families, youths and communities. With the extension of the regularisation scheme we have reconfirmed that we will continue investing in our communities towards a better quality of life.”
From his end, Parliamentary Secretary Chris Agius said that, “the Development Planning Fund leads to several benefits for several communities. This time, the St Paul’s Bay community is benefitting, as well as the sport community. It is important to continue investing in sports, to continue investing in public facilities and to continue seeing that these initiatives continue benefitting our country’s organisations and above all the people.”