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UPDATED: SmartCity to have larger business park

(Adds ministry's comments)

The Infrastructure Ministry said this evening that the decision by SmartCity Malta to allocate more space for its business part meant that this park would employ more than 8,500 people, when the agreed figure for employment there had been 3,000.

The ministry was referring to the announcement earlier today that SmartCity had submitted an application for an Outline Development Permit with a revised plan.

The ministry said it had calculated the new employment figure on the basis of the international benchmark of one employee for every 18.6 sq metre of office space.

In all, therefore, SmartCity would have the space to employ 11,000, making it one of the biggest economic concentrations in Malta.

The ministry said the new plans also allowed more public open spaces.

Austin Gatt, Minister of the Infrastructure, Transport and Communications welcomed the fact that the project was going ahead within the established deadlines and that the investors were not only respecting the agreements reached, but were actually investing more in the business park.

The Outline Planning Application for the development at Ricasoli was submitted to the Malta Environment and Planning Authority (MEPA) yesterday. It includes a full Environmental Impact Assessment and Traffic Impact Assessment.

SmartCity said that over the past few months the original master plan for this knowledge-based township was refined to serve as the primary vehicle for the establishment of a world-class ICT and media industry in Malta.

SmartCity Malta has applied for up to 158,500sq.m of business space in the ICT and Media Business Park, which represents an increase of 54% over the business space which SmartCity Malta is contractually bound to develop. The gross floor area of the residential component has been reduced by 30 %, down to 60,000 sq. m. In terms of the Outline Planning Application, the residential component makes up 19% of the total gross floor area of the project

The Outline Planning Application also provides for a huge public open space of 118,000 sq. m, which shall serve as a primary recreational area for the neighbouring communities of SmartCity Malta.

SmartCity Chief Executive Officer and Board Member of SmartCity Malta and SmartCity Kochi, Fareed Abdulrahman, commented that the submission was another important milestone in progress towards promoting SmartCity Malta as an IT/Media destination.

“We are strongly committed to creating a world-class knowledge-based township in Malta and the structure of our submission is a clear proof of our intentions. This submission is the result of a lot of work carried out as a team by the two members of the joint venture, SmartCity and the government”.

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