Citadel restoration project finalist in RegioStars Awards 2018
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The Citadel restoration project has been named as a finalist in a European competition for its originality and innovation
The Ministry for Gozo said that the project is in with a chance to be selected as the best innovative project completed using European funds, as an independent jury announced the 21 finalists of the RegioStars Awards 2018 edition
The expert jury composed of 15 members- evaluated 102 applications; this competition is competing for the prize of the most outstanding European project which supports the European Union’s cohesion policy.
The 21 finalists come from 20 different member states and five further partner countries.
The Citadel restoration project is competing in five categories with 4 other projects, which are Gwrtheyrn Nant Wales, Vista Alegre Heritage Museum in Portugal, Iron Age Danube between Austria, Croatia, Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia and, Raised bogs – A European Unique Area in Ireland.
RegioStars Awards identify good practices in regional development and highlight original and innovative projects that are attractive and inspiring to other regions.
The final selection will be made by the public and the vote for the 2018 Public Choice Award starts on the 3rd of July.
The Minister for Gozo Justyne Caruana welcomed the nomination for this very prestigious award and said that it acts as an encouragement to create other initiatives aimed at maximising the potential of this historic site in the heart of the island.
The Minister Caruana said that the Ministry for Gozo is committed to ensure that the Citadel site is alive throughout the year with activities to suit everyone’s taste.
Parliamentary Secretary for European Funds and Social Dialogue Aaron Farrugia expressed his satisfaction that once again a Maltese project carried out through European funds is regarded as the best in Europe. “This testifies to the ability and quality of the projects Malta and Gozo are able to carry out through European funds,” he said.
The Citadel masterplan project was carried out with an investment of € 14 million, of which € 10.3 million came from the European Regional Development Fund.
The aim of the project was to improve the Gozitan tourism product, both the physical product and services provided.
The Ministry said that the Citadel project since it was completed in 2016, has seen a considerable increase in the amount of socio-cultural activities being organised, while the number of tourists visiting this cultural site has increased by 29.3%. As regards people with special needs, 60% of the site is now accessible to all.
Surveys conducted in the years 2016 and 2017 established that 96.5% of visitors considered their Citadel experience as very good or good.
Photograph by Mario Xerri