MIDI plc is pleased to announce that its revised Masterplan for the restoration and redevelopment of Manoel Island has been submitted to the Planning Authority (“PA”) for its consideration and to Environmental and Resources Authority (“ERA”) for Environmental Impact Assessment evaluation. A period of public consultation will now commence with both the PA and ERA.
In response to valuable feedback received from the broader community, the Gżira Local Council and the NGOs, Foster + Partners has significantly amended its earlier masterplan for Manoel Island. Through this process of engagement, MIDI seeks to ensure that Manoel Island’s important heritage buildings and sites, foreshore and significant green park spaces are restored and preserved for the whole community to enjoy for the long term.
MIDI is sensitive to the views of the local and wider communities and will continue to work closely and transparently with all stakeholders. MIDI will continue to regularly listen, engage and provide updates throughout the project, ensuring the delivery of significant benefits to the community for the long term.
The proposed plans for the restoration and redevelopment of Manoel Island places a much stronger focus on improving public access and spaces and delivering benefits to the local communities as well as the general public by providing a cultural, social and economic centre. The works include €50 million in the restoration of historical buildings and MIDI expects that the total investment in Manoel Island, estimated at more than €400 million, will significantly benefit local business, skills and apprenticeships during the construction phase.
The Masterplan provides that:
- MIDI will preserve, improve and deliver more than 80,000 sqm of new green/family park space around Manoel Island, including Fort Manoel and the Island’s foreshore, for the general public to enjoy for the long term.
- Fort Manoel is destined to become a centre for Culture and the Arts, comprising galleries, museums, shops, restaurants and a Parade Ground for open air events, all with full public access; the Chapel will also be used for community events, weddings and celebrations. This helps to ensure that Fort Manoel will become one of Malta’s most visited attractions.
- The Lazzaretto, which has been adapted for various uses across the centuries, will be restored as a Five Star Hotel with serviced apartments.
- The residential component of the development is concentrated at the western part of the island and will comprise of a series of low rise (3 to 4 floors) urban blocks.
- An animated retail offering is sensitively designed around the Island’s open public spaces and pedestrian streets. There will not be a shopping centre complex.
- The South shore yacht marina will be significantly upgraded to a world class yacht marina catering for a mix of small scale and large yachts.
- Vehicle parking and circulation will be located below ground, thus creating a largely pedestrianised car-free streetscape.
- Unique public spaces will be created at street level connecting the pedestrianised streets to a series of open spaces and piazzas for the enjoyment of the general public.
To coincide with the public consultation in respect of the EIA and Outline Development Application, the Company is inviting the local community to view the revised plans.
MIDI has today launched a Manoel Island project website, manoelisland.com.mt, which will be supplemented by a static exhibition, located on Manoel Island from 17th November until 1st December. The exhibition will then be moved to the Pjazza at Tigné Point and remain on site from 4th December until 15th December. Both the website and the exhibition will showcase key elements of the Masterplan, detail the investment already made and explain the benefits that will be delivered both for the local community and Malta more widely.
All relevant information in relation to the exhibition will be made available on the project website where visitors can also register for updates.
In early 2018, MIDI will supplement this engagement programme with a further series of Island open days, enabling the community to see the extensive restoration work which has already been carried out and to view the proposed designs.
Alec Mizzi, Chairman of MIDI plc, commented:
“I am pleased that MIDI has submitted its proposed Masterplan, which, in line with its role of responsible developer, ensures the right balance between its obligations under the Deed of Emphyteusis granted by the Government of Malta to develop part of Manoel Island, with its obligations under the same Deed to restore and preserve the heritage buildings on Manoel Island and significant green park space, creating an environment for both the whole community and residents to enjoy and one that we can all be proud of. Indeed, this Masterplan goes well beyond what is prescribed by the Deed, in line with increased sensitivities over the years, and pusuant to discussions with the Gzira Local Council and environmental NGOs.
We look forward to continuing to engage with the local and wider communities, working in partnership to deliver a wonderful high quality residential development set in one of our most important and beautiful public spaces that will be carefully restored and enhanced.”
Toby Blunt, Senior Partner at Foster + Partners commented:
“Foster + Partners is proud to be designing the masterplan to redevelop Manoel Island, which proposes to restore and breathe new life into the much-loved historical buildings located throughout the island, sensitively integrating them with new buildings to create a destination for locals and visitors to Marsamxett Harbour – a true urban oasis in the heart of the city.”
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT
MPS (PR Advisor to MIDI) Tel: +356 7920 2452
Sarah Kennard Email: [email protected]
MIDI was granted a concession to develop Manoel Island together with Tigné Point, by virtue of a public deed dated 15 June 2000, the Company acquired the Emphyteutical Land at Tigné Point and Manoel Island from the Government of Malta by title of temporary emphyteusis for a period of ninety-nine (99) years which commenced in June 2000. Under the same Emphyteutical Deed, the Company also acquired from the Malta Maritime Authority, for a period of ninety-nine (99) years, the right to develop and operate a yacht marina on a defined area facing the south shore of Manoel Island in Ta’ Xbiex Creek, Limits of Gzira.
- The deed includes total payments by MIDI of €274 million, of which €60 million represents deferred payments to the Government of Malta, €181 million in ground rent for the duration of the lease to the Government of Malta and €33 million worth of restoration and infrastructural obligations.
- To date more than €20 million has been invested by MIDI in the meticulous mapping and preparation of key buildings, including the important restoration of the majestic Fort Manoel and St Anthony’s Chapel. MIDI is a responsible, long-term custodian of the nation’s heritage.
- Foster + Partners’ proposals for the sensitive restoration, preservation, and limited development of Manoel Island will create a vibrant and sustainable destination. Foster + Partners has showcased its sensitivity towards sites of historic significance with the transformation of Trafalgar Square in London, the Reichstag, New German Parliament in Berlin as well as The Great Court and the British Museum in London.
- MIDI pledges to maintain and improve safe public access across Manoel Island.
- This investment will create a community destination that makes a positive sustainable contribution to the cultural, social and economic success and international standing Malta.
- The local community is placed at the heart of the plans, which include:
- significantly preserving, improving and opening up community spaces and amenities for the public:
- 80,000 sqm of new greenspace/family park for the public
- new sports facilities, including a new Gzira United football pitch
- new cultural, social and retail facilities for the community
- permanent and improved access to the Island’s foreshore for the public
- further investment into the sensitive and creative restoration, and then reuse, of both the Fort and Lazzaretto to restate their former glory; and
- hospitality, residential, marina and retail offering, which integrates into our plans for significantly improving and preserving public spaces.
- The deed includes an outline development permit clearly stipulating the permitted land uses and the built-up areas. MIDI is fully compliant with these restrictions and the financial obligations of the concession.
- Manoel Island will be a project of international significance, which will help Malta attract further foreign investment and broaden the base of the country’s economy.
Manoel Island Masterplan 1 - rendered drawing
Manoel Island Masterplan 2 – colour coded public access