The first phase of the crafts village at Ta’ Qali was inaugurated with an investment of £13 million.
Economy Minister, Chris Cardona, said that the project’s second phase will be completed by the operators with their investment in the building of shops or factories. The whole project will be ready by next year. Minister Cardona also announced the setting up of a foundation which will administer the crafts village.
The project, carried out by the Malta Industrial Parks with the support of Malta Enterprise, included the infrastructure and public spaces, together with underground services.
Minister Chris Cardona said that the crafts village had been pledged for 25 years and nothing was done until work started by this Government. The project will revive the crafts manufactured at the village, he added.
The new foundation, whose tasks will include a calendar of events to attract more visitors, will closely work with the Education Minister to increase crafts learning.
“We will now ensure that the new village increases its popularity, more landscaping areas and will be part of the Maltese family and tourists’ calendar with visits to the crafts establishments and with other places for picnics and as a promenade”.
Minister Cardona said that the trees uprooted due to the project have been planted in other areas, while some 1,600 new trees were planted at Ta’ Qali by the Malta Industrial Parks.
The second phase of the project will be completed with the investment by the craft operators, who will include new ones. When the project is completed by next year, it will accommodate around 75 crafts operators.
Various craftsmen at the village said that following many difficulties, this project will encourage them to enlarge their business.
Paul Said said “the place was not attractive for tourism, we were completely lost. Now they have a future where to operate”.
Mark Grima said “we have been waiting for many years; the day has arrived and this place will not only attract tourists but also families”.
Parliamentary Secretary for European Funds, Aaron Farrugia said that €10 million from the EU’s Regional Funds were used for the project, apart from other financing from schemes which are assisting operators to enlarge their business.