A central part of the Marsamxett area of Valletta is being upgraded through various projects carried out by the Grand Harbour Regeneration Corporation with a total investment of around €2.5 million.
Over €1 million have been spent on upgrading a kilometre-long stretch of promenade in Marsamxett Street and St Sebastian Street. Invasive species of trees were removed, replaced with more than 120 indigenous trees, while new services, new water management connections and an irrigation system were installed.
An additional €850,000 were allocated to the restoration of 12,500 square metres of bastions in the area.
The façades of two historic structures in the area were also restored with an investment of over €500,000: House of Catalunya and the Auberge de Bavière.
Structural interventions were also required on House of Catalunya, a complex which originated as three houses built by the Langue of Aragon in the 1690s to house the Knights of the Priory of Catalunya.
The Auberge de Bavière was also built in the 1690s. It was originally named Palazzo Carneiro, as it was the home of a Portuguese Knight, but became the home of the Langue of Bavaria when it was set up in the 1780s, shortly before the Knights’ departure from Malta.
‘This befits our capital city’
The area was today visited by Transport Minister Ian Borg and Parliamentary Secretary for EU Funds Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi.
“This is what befits our capital city, and this is what we will continue to see,” Borg said.
Noting that 11 new social housing units set up by the GHRC were recently inaugurated, the minister said that the GHRC implemented “some of the most important government work, comprehensive work that doesn’t forget any sector or any part of our society.”
Zrinzo Azzopardi, whose office is currently in House of Catalunya, had been the GHRC’s chairman when the project began, and said that it introduced a new method of regeneration. He observed that while previously, this sort of regeneration was carried out in the northern part of Valletta and was limited to restoration, a more holistic project was now being carried out.
“At the heart of regeneration, we should always have the people and how they will benefit from the project,” he said.