Mtarfa clock tower, Source: MaltaGov

Mtarfa Clock Tower revived with EUR 950 000

Mtarfa Clock Tower revived with EUR 950 000

21 Local Councils in Malta benefited from European Funds last year

Mtarfa’s 2600-odd residents and all tourists visiting this small town in northern Malta will soon be able to see its iconic Clock Tower back in business. The tower, together with its clock, has been restored to its former glory with an investment of around EUR 950 000, of which just over EUR 463 000 came from the European Regional Development Fund.

Space and time

The Mtarfa Clock Tower was built in 1895 by the British Forces as part of the Mtarfa Barracks (cold comfort compared to the destruction they wrought in the process to the remains of the Roman city suburb standing there at the time).

The renovation of the town landmark included cleaning the stones of the facade and the interior and reassembling the 100-year-old mechanism of the clock. Clock technicians Charles Pace and Mario Agius spent a whole year working on the mechanism, which had to be dismantled piece by piece, assembled again, and calibrated.

“The machine has a pendulum and keeps very good time – like clockwork. It works with weights and we wind it once a week,” the tandem told public broadcaster TVM.

The Mayor of Mtarfa, Daniel Attard, said that as part of the project a Tourist Interpretation Centre will be built with information displays and videos showcasing the history and military past of the locality.

Call for project proposals

During a visit this week to the restored tower, Cabinet Minister Carmelo Abela underscored the fact that the Mtarfa Local Council has profited from European funds to the tune of almost half a million euros with the help of MEUSAC (the Malta-EU Steering and Action Committee). The Minister noted that last year 21 Local Councils in Malta benefited from European Funds for projects ranging from youth initiatives to restoration schemes. Therefore, he urged not just Local Council, but also non-governmental organisations to approach MEUSAC with new project proposals.

The Head of EU Funds at MEUSAC, Darren Grasso, confirmed that information and assistance is offered to any entity that may qualify for funding. “MEUSAC can offer holistic help, from the start of the process, where we provide information and help them to develop the project, to its conclusion, where the application is submitted and then evaluated from there onwards,” explained Grasso, quoted by TVM.

EUR 300m funding for green recovery

According to Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi, Parliamentary Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister responsible for European Funds, in the coming years Malta will gain EUR 300 million from the EU Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF).

“We will be investing in various initiatives and projects that will be carried out with these funds, and our country is currently in informal consultation with the Commission on those initiatives that will be announced later,” Azzopardi told TVM.

RRF, the unprecedented EUR 672.5 billion funding mechanism, greenlighted days ago by the European Parliament, is designed to help EU member states recover from the Covid-19 fallout and steer the transition to green economy and digitalization.

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