The Malta Independent 25 June 2024, Tuesday
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Prime Minister Pays first visit to Valletta Waterfront

Malta Independent Sunday, 26 December 2004, 00:00 Last update: about 12 years ago

Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi paid his first official visit to the Valletta Waterfront project. He was welcomed by VISET plc chairman, Joseph C Grioli, and chief executive officer, Chris Falzon.

VISET has been entrusted not only with operating the cruise liner terminal but also with restoring and reviving the Valletta Waterfront. The first phase of this development, being carried out at the historic Pinto Stores, is expected to open to the public in June 2005.

Valletta Waterfront will provide a unique 24 hour destination in a historical setting with great views across Grand Harbour to Fort St Angelo. These facilities will be fully accessible to the Maltese public and to cruise liner passengers.

The Cruise Liner Terminal is just one part of the Valletta Waterfront project that is set to revitalise the harbour area and turn it into one of Malta’s main social and cultural centres. Apart from the permanent leisure and entertainment facilities, Valletta Waterfront is also set on making the area a prime location for annual festivals to suit different tastes.

The Prime Minister’s visit began at the new Police Station, located next to the Old Power Station which in 2007 will be rehabilitated as part of this project, before proceeding to the site of the Forni Stores where he was briefed on the project and the works currently in progress.

The Prime Minister also had the opportunity to visit the restored Pinto Stores, view the sea wall and the laguna that will form the setting for the part of the project that will be officially opened in June 2005.

“The new year will see a noticeable pick-up in activity at Valletta Waterfront as we move to the final part of the first phase of this project. In the next few weeks work will begin to transform the road that currently runs along the waterfront, in front of Pinto Stores, into a beautifully designed, paved pedestrian area where the public will be able to stroll along the water’s edge or enjoy an al fresco meal later this year,” said Mr Grioli

The Prime Minister also visited the existing Sea Passenger Terminal that has just been refurbished by VISET. There he met with employees working at the Terminal as well as other employees who work for other organisations operating within the building, including Immigration Police and Customs Officers.

“The Valletta Waterfront project is one of the country’s most important development projects. Cruise passengers are vital for our tourism industry both in terms of the income they provide during their stop in Malta and in terms of the number of passengers who then return for longer holidays. The outlook in this sector for 2005 is positive and it is, therefore, imperative that our facilities are, at the very least as good as those of our competitors. Apart from this important national role, Valletta Waterfront will help bring about the continued economic and social revival of our capital city, something which the government has been working hard to achieve for a number of years. I am delighted to note that this project is on schedule and that we will start enjoying the completed first phase of this project in 2005,” said the Prime Minister.

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