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Transfer of Valletta indoor market to Arkadia unanimously approved

Parliament’s National Audit Committee has unanimously approved the transfer on emphyteusis of the Valletta indoor market, known as is-Suq tal-Belt, to Arkadia Ltd for 65 years.

The committee debated the transfer on July 1 last year.

The Valletta Market Project Advisory Board chose Arkadia following a call for proposals that attracted four bidders.

During July’s debate, Opposition deputy leader Mario de Marco pointed out that the project's the three objectives were the restoration and image of the market, the operation of a food market and other ancillary services and facilities.

He had pointed out that the proposed contract did not include a definition of a food market, the included list of uses was not exhaustive and the bidder’s proposals were not reflected. Dr de Marco then proposed a number of amendments.

During today’s meeting, Antoine Portelli, general manager and Maria Micallef, chief operating officer, presented the committee with the plan for the €7 million redevelopment of the site, to be completed by May 2017.

The lower floor will feature several stalls preparing and selling food inspired by La Boqueria in Barcelona. 

The ground floor will include a number of catering establishments, following the model of San Miguel market in Madrid that has a rather similar history to the Valletta market.

A multi-function floor ranging from a cafeteria in the morning to a more cultural and entertainment based space later on during the day will be developed on the top floor.

An amendment to the transfer agreement of the land to Mellieħa Sports Club was also unanimously approved.  This land could be also used for state educational purposes, beside sports.

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