Through its URBAN IMPROVEMENT FUND (UIF) MEPA is actively assisting localities across Malta and Gozo to improve the quality of life of residents in the area. OUTLOOK finds out more.
MEPA has very recently signed an agreement with 15 local councils and the Ministry responsible for the department of Works to fully or partially fund 21 projects that will help improve the quality of life of residents living in these localities. The sum of over €860,000 is being made available to these local councils and central government through the Urban Improvement Fund (UIF) scheme which is managed by the Authority.
The urban improvement projects that are being funded include among others the creation and upgrading of playing fields in Marsascala, Attard, Xgћajra and Nadur, the embellishment of a public garden in Paola, new energy-saving street lighting in Birkirkara and paving works around a number of streets in Gћajnsielem, Qrendi, and Mosta. Another three projects that will be carried out by the Department of Works include paving works around the parish churches of San Ġwann, Santa Venera and Żabbar.
To date, €7.4 million have been distributed by MEPA to local councils under the UIF scheme. Most of the funds have been distributed towards the upgrading of residential roads, pavements, lighting and playgrounds, all of which contribute towards improving the quality of life of residents.
The Authority is seeking new ways of taking the use of these funds to a higher level by preserving, maintaining and restoring the historical core of our villages and town centres through pedestrianisation and conservation projects. The Authority believes that such projects can in turn lead to the regeneration of our historical cores. Local authorities should use these funds to restore various historical buildings and churches in town centres that are in dire need of restoration but for which no appropriate funding has been found to date.
MEPA Chairman, Austin Walker, said that “the Authority notes with satisfaction the positive working relationship that the UIF committee has with all local councils and government agencies that submit projects for funding.”
The Urban Improvement Fund’s committee will continue to work to ensure that local councils receive the necessary financial support to implement environmental-friendly projects that make a difference in our towns and villages.