Works on a state-of-the-art aquatic sports facility in the north of the island are at an advanced stage and will be completed in time for the summer season.
This was announced by Minister for the Environment, Climate Change and Planning Aaron Farrugia and Parliamentary Secretary for Sport, Recreation and Voluntary Organisations Clifton Grima.
Details of the project and how the works are fast progressing were given onsite by Siren’s Club Vice-President John Farrugia in the presence of the Minister and the Chairperson of the Development Fund Committee, Perit Vincent Cassar, as well as the Siren’s President Dr Carmel Vella.
The new aquatic complex, largely being funded by the PA’s Development Planning Fund (DPF), will include a main pool, which is the second largest in Malta, a kids learning pool and a 3-lane indoor pool to ensure training can be carried out all year round.
Minister Farrugia explained that the money for this fund come from two sources; the tariffs that a developer is charged when onsite parking is not provided for when a development permit is granted, and a percentage from the fees related to regularisation applications. He said that these funds are utilised, time and time again, for urban, environmental, and social projects that are giving back to the communities of various localities across Malta and Gozo.
“We are working towards creating liveable environments and happier communities. Not only will the project enhance the area within St Paul’s Bay but, more importantly, it will serve to cater for the growing demand that exists in the northern region for aquatic sports facilities,” he said, adding that the scope of the DPF was widened last year to include green and blue infrastructure.
“Our aim is to support projects which improve our urban environment and in turn our quality of life, and those which fall in line with our vision for intelligent planning. This fund, which was reformed last year, provides local councils, NGOs, and others with the necessary financial support for them to be proactive and undertake projects that are aimed at improving the wellbeing, environment, and social dimension of our towns and villages,” Minister Farrugia reiterated.
Parliamentary Secretary Clifton Grima said that this investment shows the extent of the government’s support of the people in communities, in order to make a difference in their lives.
“This is a facility that supports aquatic sports and will give all the necessary tools to our athletes. This is being done because we believe that sport is an essential part of the lives of Maltese and Gozitan communities,” Parliamentary Secretary Grima said.
Architect Vincent Cassar, Chairperson of the Development Fund Committee said that; “We are proud to have supported the funding and implementation of this ambitious project which, up until only a few years ago, was a dream. This project is proof that when an organisation, such as the Sirens Aquatic Club, has the vision and professional approach to carry out a large-scale project which will serve the wider community, we can assist them in making it a reality”.
“This is the first project in which the PA is providing funds which are directly associated with sports. We have a moral obligation to support such projects and initiatives because such spaces provide the perfect antidote for residents, especially young people, living in the region, to be mindful of their physical and mental wellbeing,” Architect Cassar concluded.
Siren’s ASC is one of Malta’s largest aquatic clubs, with over 350 athletes (5-18-year-olds) competing at a national and international level in both swimming and water polo.