Up to €1.6 million were spent on the rehabilitation and modernisation of Villa Rundle gardens. This garden is found in the heart of Victoria and is the only sizeable public garden in Gozo.

  • Rabat, Gozo

    Location

    Rabat, Gozo

  • European Regional Development Fund

    Fund

    European Regional Development Fund

  • Investing in Competitiveness for a better quality of life

    Programme

    Investing in Competitiveness for a better quality of life

  • €1,951,162

    Cost of Project

    €1,951,162

  • €1,658,828

    Total EU Allocation

    €1,658,828

This garden, a veritable lung in the busy Gozitan capital, hosts a large variety of local and imported trees offering shade from the hot sun during summer. It is a perfect resting place for many shoppers and for people who just want sit back enjoy the green surroundings away from the hustle and bustle of the busy town.

Villa Rundle was once part of a British government experimental farm, which helped farmers to upgrade the quality of their livestock and produce. William Millard, as the story goes, chief officer of the Gozitan civil service, sought assistance from Governor Sir Leslie Rundle (and particularly funds) to build a garden in Victoria on part of the existing farm. With the Governor’s backing, funds were released from the official coffers and works started.

Several touristic interventions sought to upgrade the garden’s infrastructure, including the development of a stage structure for cultural events, whilst enhancing its landscape and botanical value. This allowed the garden to effectively contribute to the social and economic aspects of present day Gozo.

The project, under the coordination of the Ministry for Gozo, was partly financed through EU Funds (85% Cohesion Fund 2007-2013 and 15% from national Funds).

Apart from extensive embellishment works, the project included the installation of a new electrical system, new paving and the relocation of an existing stage. The development of new concepts were also undertaken within this project

A discovery play area, a visitors’ centre and other thematic zones increased facilities within the Gardens. New administrative facilities together with new garden furniture as well as a new entrance contributed towards the enhancement of these gardens that lie over almost 15,000 m² of land in the midst of Victoria.

Apart from providing a tranquil, green space in the hub of the island, these gardens also serve as a venue for social and cultural events during the year. This regeneration project considerably improved the area whilst providing better facilities to cater for educational and social activities in the island of Gozo.

This was created and maintained with the financial support of the European Union.

Its contents are the sole responsibility of and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union

Living in a digital age has made life easier, especially for those who have unrestricted access to the many functions and innovations of ICT, from computers to smart phones, tablets, and many other forms of modern digital facilities.

  • General

    Location

    General

  • European Regional Development Fund

    Fund

    European Regional Development Fund

  • Investing in Competitiveness for a better quality of life

    Programme

    Investing in Competitiveness for a better quality of life

  • €416 472

    Cost of Project

    €416 472

  • €354 001

    Total EU Allocation

    €354 001

However, for some, mostly those with special needs such as persons with impaired eyesight or hearing, the aging and the illiterate, the digital world might have complicated further their life and actually made them feel ‘deprived’.

To make matters worse for such communities, a second obstacle existed: the use of the Maltese language on digital devices was not supported by proper speech engines, as the latter were normally developed for the use of other, more diffused foreign languages.

In 2008, through the European Regional Development Fund, an innovative project was started to create the first ever Maltese Speech Engine intended to translate Maltese text into audible speech for thousands of ICT users.

Before this investment, a project proposed by FITA – the Federation for Information Technology Accessibility, many Maltese ICT users were unable to make the full use of technology as no such speech engine was available.

At the time, all text written in Maltese could only be read by an English language speech engine, which translated the Maltese text into badly pronounced speech, in many instances exceedingly difficult to understand.

FITA made the best use of EU funds, employing the best brains to do the necessary research before it could commission a software development company to produce the end product.

According to the research, it was found that some 44 per cent of ICT users at the time were in favour of having this additional help to make their life easier when going online or using their computers.

The project was completed in 2012 and today the Maltese speech engine is widely used and fully integrated in many online services provided, by both the government and the private sector.

From a human resources perspective, the new Maltese search engine has also enabled persons with special needs to integrate further into society, become more employable and be able to participate actively.

EU funds in this sector also contributed towards the continuous development of this engine as re-development and updating of the software, to make it more efficient, and an intrinsic part of this EU project.

This was created and maintained with the financial support of the European Union.

Its contents are the sole responsibility of and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union

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