Today, Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects Ian Borg, Minister for European Affairs and Equality Edward Zammit Lewis and Parliamentary Secretary for Planning and the Property Market Chris Agius visited the embankment that was used by the old railway in Attard where a regeneration project is underway through European funds together with funds from the Planning Authority’s Development Planning Fund and investment by Infrastructure Malta.
“We are nearing the end of another year filled with commitment towards our communities. Today we are visiting a project that considers several aspects affecting the people’s quality of life – public spaces, the environment and our heritage. We are very proud of the Planning Authority and Infrastructure Malta who are contributing here as well.
The Planning Authority’s Development Planning Fund has just this year financed 45 projects with a total of €6.4 million, while €36.3 million remain available for use by local councils and organisations for community projects”, said Minister Ian Borg.
He commended the initiative taken by the Attard Local Council to apply for funds for such a unique and wonderful project for this community while looking ahead to another year of work within communities and in collaboration with the local government in our country.
Minister for European Affairs and Equality Edward Zammit Lewis held that such projects not only serve to protect and preserve our cultural heritage, but also help to diversify and strengthen our touristic product across towns and villages whilst regenerating the local economies.
Edwards Zammit Lewis underlined that this was another ERDF project with an investment of €420,000 channelled into the restoration of the railway embankment and the setting up of a cultural information and educational centre at Ġnien l-Istazzjon, Triq il-Ġonna, Attard.
In this regard, Minister Zammit Lewis reiterated the government’s commitment to strike a fair deal for Malta during the ongoing negotiations on the next budget for the European Union, with the ultimate aim of sustaining the positive change in people’s lives through the effective use of EU funds.
Parliamentary Secretary Chris Agius commended the initiative of the Attard Local Council, who made use of the Development Planning Fund within the Planning Authority falling within his responsibility. Through this fund, the Attard Local Council will be regenerating a space with a lot of history.
Chris Agius encouraged other local councils to follow the example of this council to also apply and benefit from this scheme aimed at helping councils to embellish their localities for the benefit of our citizens.
The embankment project includes the conservation of existing elements, cleansing that safeguards the environment and existing structures, rebuilding lost elements and the planting of new trees.
As part of the commitment Infrastructure Malta is implementing through collaboration with local councils, NGOs and other entities towards the regeneration of the natural environment, the agency will have planted 6,700 trees by the end of this year. Infrastructure Malta invested around €35,000 in this project to plan 110 olive trees which will be maintained by the Attard Local Council.
The railway services in Malta started on 28th February 1883 when the inauguration journey took place from the Valletta station to that in Notabile, Rabat. This was an important part of Maltese transport history for 48 years until it ended on 31st March 1931.