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 “Marsaskala is an ancient fishing village with its picturesque bay that lies to the south-east of Malta. In the holiday season it is buzzing with activity, much loved by locals and visitirs alike. It sprawls at the feet of two hillsides descending from Zabbar and Zejtun. Its long U-shaped coastline and beach, its rocky promontories and its multicoloured fishing vessles gives it lots of character. This is enhanced by a bog variety of modern leisure facilities, restaurants and bars.
Marsaskala Bay used to extend deep into the valley to a cave with a natural spring of fresh water where old mariners took their wter before sailing This zone used to be a haven for Roman ships during their long period of occupation. It is partnered by the next (wider) bay called St. Thomas Bay, dominated by the huge St. Thomas Fortress built by the Knights of St. John. In the time of the Knights, Ottoman and Barbary pirates used to land at Marsaskala to take water and/or seek refuge from rough seas...usually also causing havoc by stealing, and harassing/kidnapping the locals. Due to this Grand Master Alof de Wignacourt decided that improved fortifications were necessary in this sensitive area. In that same year the works were started and finished on the Fort San Tumas, the huge fortress that takes its name (like the second bay of Marsaskala) from St. Thomas Church nearby. It served its purpose well over the centuries as a bulwark of defence for the population. Various small redoubts and towers and old chapels surriund Marsaskala in the outlying countryside.
The picturesque seaside town of Wied il-Ghajn, or Marsaskala as it is more commonly known, is the only tourist resort in the southeast of Malta. Until WWII, it was a small fishing viage with a few summer residences of the Maltese aristocracy. As people became more lucrative however, it was quickly spotted as one of the most beautiful places in Malta. Due to the closure of the large Jerma Palace Hotel a 4 star hotel in the locality the number of tourists staying at the locality has gone down drastically affecting the business commuity due to the spillover effect which is used to create. The idea behind this project was to create a leisure open air area with facilities for open air fitness zones for adults and children alike, providing a unique rural trail which will take visitors along the promenade leading the San Tumas Bay, further promoting rural tourism by providing proper facilities for those visiting the area.”



“This project being proposed by the local council of Marsaskala involves the embellishment and upgrading of the rura St. Thomas area, this will also include the instillation of street furnitur e and other outdoor equipment. Furthermore, as there is already a heritage map of this locality the local council will complement this by installing signage and directional signs making it easier for people visiting the locality to understand the importance of conserving our natural and rural heritage. The local council will also introduce various cultural/rural activities once the project is completed in order to stimulate the tourism market in Marsaskala. The project being put forward for funding by Marsaskala Local Council fits into all the identified operational objectives of this call and is mainly concerned with the focus areas of intervention, dealing with upgrading of the rural area which will indirectly be contributing towards creating a niche market development and branding, creating and open air leisure park with provisions for the promotion of healthier lifestyle for all ages by having a fitness trail complemented by an outdoor gym for youths and adults, an adventure zone for children, a kids area and a health track.
Over the years the importance of Malta’s rural identity (both tangible and intangible) were not given their due importance and through this project the council will be contributing towards creating a rural trail and embellishing an important site in the south of the island further promoting rural tourism to the south of the island. Despite the fact that many rural locations are in a bad state of conversation from research done, it indicates that rural cultural heritage are primary motivators for tourists choosing Malta as their tourism destination, over and above weather and recreational considerations.
The proposed project will therefore contribute to the objectives by means of investing in the sustainable development of new and vibrant rural attractions in order to satisfy both locals and visitor needs to experience new leisure facilities, whilst at the same time protecting and conserving our rural sites for current and future generations. This project being proposed by the local council of Marsaskala involves the following interventions:


  1.  Embellishment and upgrading of the are known as St. Thomas area,
  2.  Installation of street furniture,
  3.  Outdoor equipment,
  4.  Outdoor gym equipment
  5.  Other door playing equipment
  6.  Gazeboo
  7.  Installing signage and directional signs
  8.  Creation of an adventure zone
  9.  Fitness trail
  10.  A health track
  11.  A kids area
  12.  Bike racks
  13.  Pathways
  14.  CCTV
  15.  Picnic area
  16.  Outside shower facilities
  17.  Upgrading of the public toilets
  18.  Energy saving lighting
  19.  Railings
  20.  Tamarisk tree for embellishment
  21.  Project management
  22.  Dissemination and promotional items.”


“Application figures (excl. VAT) € 249,247.12
Proposed Figures (excl. VAT) € 250,044.87
This project will be funded through EARDF fundsand has to be completed by the end of December 2014. The council is current,y going through the evolution stage of the tenders submitted and hopes to start works by April 2014. ”


“ Through the creation of a fully accessible leisure park, all people of alla ages will be able to come to this garden and either select to relax and watcg the breathtaking views from one of the benches which will be fixed around the entire garden. One could also come and do some exercises or else bring children to play. The upgrade of this garden is targeted to welcome people of all ages to come to this venue and enjoy some relaxing time. Parking is definitely not a problem since this area of Marsaskala is not densely populated and with two areas already utilised as car parks in the area, People can also decide to go for a walk in the vicinity since the council had recently upgraded the promenade on this area as well.
The following are the many objectives once the project is accomplished:
·         Rehabilitation and improvement of disturbed are along the coast and rural environment in the area known as San Tumas, through the creation of a rural leisure park, keeping with the characteristics of the rural seaside location.
·         Provision of outdoor games facilitates and outdoor gym equipment to further promote active healthy lifestyles among the population both young and old, providing free open air fitness equipment and with aim to encourage active families rather than normal children playgrounds and picnic facilities.
·         Preparation  and installation of various information boards to highlight specific rural features and preparation and publication of information leaflets to further educate and encourage rural walks along the San Tumas area leading to the Xorb l-Ghagin nature reserve.
·         Dissemination events, namely printing of information leaflets, organisation of launch event, adverts and promotional items to be distributed during launch.
Installation of energy efficient street lighting, to reduce emissions and lower the localities carbon footprint.”

Involvement of Persons with Disavility and relevant entities


“Marsaskala Local council has applied to MEPA through DN 00410/11 and has re-applied following some structural changes to the project and obtained the necessary MEPA permits through DN 984/13 to ensure that the proposed garden which wll incorportae various recreational facilities is also fully wheelchair accessible and therefore can be enjoyed by all. The proposed leisured park in St Thomas area will be enjoyed by the general public. Moreover Marsaskala council had recently finished the upgrading of the promenade at the same location through EU funds and involved new benches and litterbins, decoative street lanterns and galvanished railing over stretch of 300 meters.
The final result will be an accessible upgarded and completly refurbished garden which can be enjoyed by everyone including persons with disability.”


What make this procejt different from other projects?


“This project is a normal embellishment project whereby a neglected garden will be completly transformed. A new lighthing system will beintroduced. CCTV cameras will also be introduced. Gym and playing field equipment will be introduced and areas for picnics including benches will be installed.
Marsaskala Local concil is trying to give an overall embellishment to the whole area and the garden forms part of a complete overhaul of the area.”



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