Marsa Sports Complex the third project to miss small nations games deadline

An extension to the Marsa Sports Complex including eight squash courts and a weightlifting hall meant to be finished in time for the Games of the Small States of Europe (GSSE) starting on Sunday 28 May is still being under construction, making it the third sports project that remains unfinished by tomorrow’s deadline.

The promised weightlifting hall and squash courts formed part of a €5.2 million investment announced in 2019, along with a tennis complex in Pembroke, which also remains unfinished.

The project, which later ballooned to €9 million, forms part of a larger investment costing €37.3 million that is undertaken by SportMalta and which falls within Education and Sports Minister Clifton Grima’s portfolio.

This is the third time that Malta will be hosting the small nations games, which will run this year between 28 May and 3 June. The games will involve 10 disciplines, nine nations and around a thousand athletes.

The plans (PA/5600/19) show what should have been constructed and completed by the end of this month – Photo: Planning Authority

Plans for the project (PA/5600/19) show that it was meant to include the publicised weightlifting hall, six singles squash courts, two doubles squash courts an administration block along with a restaurant and parking spaces, all within a three-storey complex.

The plans for both the Marsa Sports Complex extension and the Pembroke Tennis Complex were both announced in April 2019, with SportMalta CEO Mark Cutajar pledging they would be finished in time for use in the 2023 GSSE.

Renders of the re-announced €9 million project as it should have looked in time for the games starting tomorrow. Photo: Department of Information.

In June 2020, the facilities were re-announced as part of a larger €9 million project involving the restoration of the nearby ‘1903’ building (PA/2118/20).

A site visit by The Shift reveals that construction of the project is still in its infancy, with groundwork and foundations still being laid on Saturday 27 May, a day before the start of the games.

The Shift reported on Thursday how a €2.9 million Tennis Court Complex in Pembroke, also promised to be finished in time for the GSSE, is nowhere near completion.

That project consisted of six tennis courts and a car park, along with the construction of offices, a lounge, storerooms and facilities. A site visit by The Shift confirms that only initial works have been completed.

Earlier in May, The Shift reported how an aquatic sports centre in Gozo costing €16 million, which is €7 million over budget, also completely missed its 2021 deadline and will similarly not be used for the small nations’ games as planned.

With the small nations games right around the corner, it remains to be seen what ad-hoc solutions the Maltese government will resort to in an attempt to accommodate and host the games given that at least three of the planned complexes are nowhere near finished, with the government seemingly stacking more plates than it could handle.

                           
                           
                               
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makjavel
makjavel
4 months ago

Perfect Incompetence.
But they did not miss getting the Panama Accounts and VGA payments of millions every year from which there will be no returns , because many friends of friends and leaders of the gang will have to sell their pants and shirts to pay back their share of the loot.

KLAUS
KLAUS
4 months ago

Project management does not seem to exist in this so-called government. All power is spent on corruption. 

How often do they want to embarrass us like this in front of the world public? It is so embarrassing. 

There used to be scandals every month, then every week, and now almost every day.
It seems that the government tries to gloss over its own mistakes and gloss over them again, and if nothing helps, then a METRO is planned.

Please excuse my language, but it pisses me off.

harmonyplus
harmonyplus
4 months ago

It’s actually the fourth. The unfinished pool in Cospicua was also to be used for this year’s Games of the Small States of Europe. https://tvmnews.mt/news/bdiet-il-hidma-biex-malta-jkollha-l-ewwel-pixxina-ta-daqs-olimpiku-msaqqfa/

saviour mamo
saviour mamo
4 months ago

Sport Malta CEO Mark Cutajar and minister Clifton Grima bragged too much. Both of them should be shown the door.

Anne R. key
Anne R. key
4 months ago

When you have lackeys on the take, they can’t push any of the providers (contractors) to speed up works, this because their lips are automatically sealed. This country deserves nothing less than to be ridiculed across the globe!

Cecil Jones
Cecil Jones
4 months ago

Malta qedin, jew nejja jew mahruqa.

Jaqaw il-VGH kellhom jibnuhom dawn ukoll?

Francis Said
Francis Said
4 months ago

Another instance of horrendous planning and waste of taxpayers’ funds.
Shame on all those concerned, directly or indirectly.

Gee Mike
Gee Mike
4 months ago

I am amazed that in a last minute push they did not take the opportunity to pig out and go 300% over budget, as they did with the shooting complex.

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