€14.5 million restoration project approved for Gozo Citadel
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A project proposed by the Ministry for Gozo for the restoration and rehabilitation of the interior of the Citadel has just been approved by the Projects Selection Committee for co-financing from the European Union.
The project, which is based on recommendations that were made by the Citadel Master Plan was commissioned by the Ministry for Gozo in recent years and was co-financed by the Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area (EEA) Financial Mechanism.
The Minister for Gozo, Giovanna Debono, said today that “this project that will involve extensive restoration and rehabilitation work to the open spaces inside the Citadel, ensuring that this historic monument will be conserved for the future for the enjoyment of the thousands of both foreign and local visitors who visit it.”
The Ministry for Gozo said that “among the interventions planned in this project is the restoration and conversion of a historical unused reservoir into a state-of-the-art visitors’ centre which would provide the much required interpretation and ancillary facilities for visitors, the rehabilitation and restoration of Cathedral Square and the upgrading of the access road leading to it. The landscaping and rehabilitation works in the ditch, installation of floodlighting and low level street and building lighting and the installation of signage, outdoor furniture and railings.
There will also be the restoration of facades of important public buildings within the Citadel, including the Gozo Law Courts, Governor’s Palace and Old Prisons and the trenching works for services inside the Cittadella which include the repaving of all the streets and walkways, thus increasing accessibility for all to most parts of the site.”
The Minister said that “this project is the result of years of careful work of the Ministry for Gozo ensuring that the Citadel gets the attention it deserves. The first step was the preparation of a Master Plan which cost € 311,000. A restoration project is currently underway for the whole of the fortifications surrounding the Citadel, a project is being coordinated by the Ministry for Resources and Rural Affairs and will cost € 7 million. Through this complete restoration project € 14.5 million will be invested to give new life to the Citadel.”
The Ministry said that during the past year MEPA has approved a number of applications related to this project and work will be able to start after the issuing of the required tenders.
“This project is being co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund under the Operational Programme 1 of Cohesion Policy for 2007-2013. If all work goes as planned it is believed that the project will be completed in 2015,” the Ministry concluded.