Malta Industrial Parks Limited (MIP) and the General Retailers and Traders Union (GRTU) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that sets out the framework which will eventually see the redevelopment of the Ta' Qali Crafts Village as a centre for traditional Maltese artisans.
The MOU sets out MIP's commitment towards the upgrading of the entire village through embellishment and landscaping works, upgrading of the infrastructure in the common areas, as well as resurfacing works on some of the roads. The latter works are envisaged to commence in Autumn once the tendering process is completed.
On its part, the GRTU has agreed to encourage the crafts operators to invest in their operations and to work with MIP in respect of the redevelopment of the Crafts Village.
Whilst the rights and obligations of the operators based at the Crafts Village are set out in the Promise of Emphyteusis agreements - most notable of which rights is a 65-year concession for the land occupied by the operators in return for the operators' investment in their property - the MOU sets out the intention of MIP to grant concessions in respect of two particular obligations for which the operators signed up in terms of their current Promise of Emphyteusis.
In this context, the MoU sets out MIP's intent to be more flexible with respect to the investment required from the tenants in the redevelopment or refurbishment of their buildings provided that there is a reasonable and commensurate level of investment.
Additionally, the MOU also provides for the possibility of more favourable rental rates upon transfers to third parties, with the rent remaining the same as long as the land is transferred to other genuine crafts operators and only increasing in case the business is changed to a retail activity without any craft–related element.