The Malta Independent 25 April 2019, Thursday

€1.2 million in EU funds to renovate the old railway station

Friday, 5 April 2019, 19:27 Last update: about 19 days ago

Parliamentary Secretary for European Funds and Social Dialogue Aaron Farrugia announced that through an investment of €1.2 million in EU funds, the old railway stations in Birkirkara, Attard, and Ħamrun will be renovated and made accessible to all, thereby valorising our cultural and historical local assets above all.

The projects include the renovation of the old train station buildings in Ħamrun and Attard aimed at preserving them and turning them in a railway attraction as well as the renovation of the Birkirkara railway station into a museum housing restored memorabilia from the railway and replicas of structures from Malta's railway past.

Farrugia said that the project will contribute towards the diversification of Malta's image from the long-standing reputation of sun, sea and sand destination, attracting various types of tourists to different localities on the island.

"These EU-funded projects are representing a revival of a part of our history, which will attract both locals and tourists to experience life as it is and was in our towns and villages. The objective of the project is to have a more competitive cultural tourism product, by exploiting the potential to attract more visitors that the niche segment of cultural tourism has," Farrugia explained, adding that this process is part of the government's plan for sustainable economic growth.

"Projects like these are an investment towards strengthening communities and protecting our Maltese identity - ensuring that upcoming generations have access to our heritage," Farrugia said.

The projects, which are at different stages of progress, are expected to increase the number of visits to the sites to nearly 13,000. Attard Mayor Stefan Cordina said that this project will increase the cultural heritage in the locality and will benefit both tourists and the local community.

Birkirkara Mayor Joanne Debono Grech said that apart from the funding element, there is also an element of satisfaction in the fact that the history of the railway is coming back to life through a number of projects including those which are being materialised with other local councils. While extending his gratitude to the Parliamentary Secretary, the Ħamrun Scouts and the Malta Railway Foundation for their contribution, Ħamrun Mayor Chris Sammut said that through this project, the railway station will become a better area for the young people who attend Scouts and Girl Guides. Chairman of the Malta Railway Foundation Paul Galea said that the time has come for Malta's railway history to be appreciated by tourists, the Maltese people, and all admirers of Maltese heritage.


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