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ERDF 024: Upgrading of Villa Rundle Gardens

Project Cost: €1,961,561
Beneficiary: Ministry for Gozo
Line Ministry: Ministry for Gozo
Start Date: 2008
End Date: 2012

Non Technical Short Summary Of Project

The project aims at rehabilitating the historically and environmentally relevant Villa Rundle Gardens, the only size-able public garden in Gozo. This was achieved through specific touristic interventions aimed at upgrading the garden’s infrastructure including the development of a stage structure for cultural events  whilst enhancing its landscape and botanical value and thus allowing the garden to effectively contribute to the social and economic aspects of present day Gozo.

Operational Programme: OPI Investing in Competitiveness for a Better Quality of Life ERDF
Fund: European Regional Development Fund
Operational Objective: To support the upgrading of the tourism product;
Priority Axis: PA2 Promoting Sustainable Tourism
Focus Area Of Intervention: OPIPA2 Product Development

Project Objectives

To upgrade this natural heritage asset to enhance its economic and social potential for the benefit of locals and tourists.

Project Results

An increase in overall visitor patronage and use of the garden as a venue for cultural events to be achieved through the overall upgrading of the garden precincts and the provision of specific attractions such as the stage structure, discovery play garden, thematic parterres… etc. The present poor state in which Villa Rundle Gardens lie does not reflect this importance and consequentially the gardens are not in actual fact providing a 67% contribution to the garden space of the island. Their upgrading will on the other hand allow Villa Rundle gardens to once again assume their important role in providing for the required public garden space and rendering the environment more attractive. It is envisaged that the upgrading exercise will contribute at least 50% of reintegrated garden space. In so doing, the project will contribute to the impact indicator Environmental Attractiveness.• Total footpath area to be paved ≈ 4500 sq.m.• Total area of new/additional soft landscaping to be formed and/ or planted (including indigenous species garden, cactus garden and discovery play area) ≈ 714 sq.m.• Area of existing soft landscaping to be upgraded (through introduction of garden furniture, planting of additional trees and shrubs etc) ≈ 720 sq.m.• Total floor space area (on 2 floors – basement & ground floor levels) of administration/ visitors centre to be built up ≈ 455 sq.m. (Drawing nos. VRG-0110, VRG-0600) This block assembles under one roof and replaces a number of existing amenities which are scattered in different areas within the garden’s precincts such as the offices of the personnel responsible for the day to day running and management of the garden, the garden’s stores and the garden’s public sanitary amenities. • In order to allow the appreciation and positive exploitation of the garden’s botanical value, a small classroom is being introduced within this same building block which classroom could be used by students and/ or nature enthusiasts during their visits to the garden.• Total capacity of underground reservoir to be built for irrigation purposes ≈ 1,615 cu.m.• Stage area of amphitheatre to be built up ≈ 125 sq.m.• Seating capacity of amphitheatre to be built up ≈ 300 spectators.The project proposal foresees an overall upgrading of the garden’s precincts which upgrading can be summarised as follows:• Total garden area to be upgraded ≈ 15,450 sq.m.

Project Purpose

The upgrading of the garden precincts to allow its enjoyment by locals and tourists and its integration within the islands’ cultural and tourism infrastructure.