White Rocks project is still afloat – Clyde Puli

Sunday, April 22, 2012, 7:49

Picture - www.timesofmalta.com

article courtesy of www.timesofmalta.com

Talks with a UK consortium to turn the White Rocks complex into a sports village have “progressed substantially”, according to the Parliamentary Secretary for Sports, Clyde Puli.

Mr Puli, who said he expected an agreement to be struck before the end of the legislature, pointed out that the talks were ongoing.

Late last year, the government had renewed its commitment to develop the White Rocks area but admitted that, after more than a year, negotiations with the investors had not gone as expected.

The project, which had been announced by the Prime Minister in 2010, is meant to include the largest multi-sports facilities in southern Europe through a €200 million investment that would generate 800 jobs.

However, not much was heard of the project since and, when questioned yesterday, Mr Puli said the essence of the proposed project had not changed throughout the negotiations.

He was keen to point out that the government had publicly announced that talks were due to start with an investor and this “in the interest of transparency”.

On the government’s plans to redevelop the Marsa Sports Village, a separate project to the one at White Rocks, Mr Puli said the government was considering whether to re-issue an amended call for expressions of interest in the near future.

He pointed a finger at the media for having possibly scared off investors with “damaging articles”, such as one claiming the land was already earmarked for someone in particular. It was reported that construction magnate Żaren Vassallo had requested a revision of the planning authority’s local plan for the Marsa Sports Village to include a 20-storey business centre.

Mr Puli was speaking during a press conference outlining the Education Ministry’s fourth year of the current legislature.

His office forms part of the Education Ministry.

He said the biggest achievement over the past year was the creation of employment for young people. A total of 1,871 of 3,428 Employment and Training Corporation placements were in fact given to young people.

He mentioned the setting up of Aġenżija Żgħażagħ, which was implementing the National Youth Policy.

Mr Puli said that nearly 1,600 scholarships had been given in four years. Sports scholarships were now also being allocated.

A total 13,000 people had followed the National Sports Council’s programme and the government was planning to open another four outdoor fitness centres, similar to that at Ta’ Qali. Two of them were planned for Mellieħa and Żabbar.

Another 19 football grounds were being upgraded, along with the 33 that had already been revamped.

Education Minister Dolores Cristina spoke about the reform in the education sector and said that, although a lot had been done, there was still a lot more to do.

Professional care, she said, continued to be given to children who suffered from certain conditions, such as dyslexia and autism, by specialised people.

More students were carrying on with their education and the number of early school-leavers dropping from 54 per cent in 2004 to 32.6 per cent last year.

Plans to cut the number to 29 per cent by 2020 would probably be reached by the end of this legislature, Ms Cristina said.

In a statement, the Labour Party criticised the Education Minister for using children for political propaganda.

 





2 Comments

  1. Philip says:

    brilliant great-cannot wait- like for the rugby stadium the new marsa set up the cover for the ta qroqq pool the motordrome the 2k circuit in ta qali…

    [Reply]

  2. SLIEMA SPORTS FAN says:

    Keep dreaming Clyde…….

    [Reply]

Leave a comment