Between July and September 2020, Manoel Island hosted over 50,000 visitors, according to information made available by the development consortium MIDI.
MIDI plc announced that apart from the area becoming a popular swimming zone over the summer months, access to the foreshore was not only ensured, but facilitated through the provision of shuttle services for visitors during weekends and public holidays.
Access to the foreshore was granted after a Guardianship Deed was entered into in 2018, between MIDI, the Gzira Local Council and the Manoel Island Foundation. Prior to the agreement, the site had been dogged by protests and the cutting of fences which barred public access to the foreshore.
In terms of the Guardianship Deed, MIDI stressed that it undertook to ensure access to the foreshore at Manoel Island is maintained at all times.
MIDI CEO, Mark Portelli, commented that “the provision of this shuttle service forms part of MIDI’s commitment to provide better access to the swimming zones on Manoel Island to the local community. The success of this year’s shuttle service is extremely encouraging”.
Gzira Mayor, Conrad Borg Manche thanked MIDI for its continuous support and for always being at the forefront of supporting community initiatives promoted by the Local Council. He said that “the support for the shuttle service follows on the success of the Manoel Island Guardianship Agreement, which has paved the way for further collaboration between MIDI and the Gzira Local Council.”
MIDI said that it is continuously seeking ways to make Manoel Island a more sustainable destination, and that earlier this year the company collaborated with the NGO Zibel to install a Seabin in the marina area.
This Seabin captures an estimated 1.5 Kgs of floating debris per day including micro-plastics up to 2 mm in size. MIDI has also provided free berthing facilities for the Zibel’s boat at the Manoel Island yacht marina.
Apart from the sea environment, MIDI also provides cleaning services on land. Through its maintenance unit, the Company provides bins along the beaches and in all areas, which are frequented by visitors thereby ensuring that all public spaces on the island are kept clean and safe for families.
As autumn settles, Manoel Island will continue to welcome visitors for walks. Manoel Island remains a popular destination for exercise as the open spaces and spectacular views provide the perfect backdrop for individuals to practice their favourite sport.
While the foreshore of Manoel Island continues to gain popularity as a destination for the local community to enjoy, the Guardianship Deed guarantees that the foreshore and the green glacis public park measuring 80,000 sqm, which will be developed as part of the Manoel Island project, will remain accessible to the general public.