Negotiations regarding the €200 million White Rocks sports village, announced by government a year ago, “have not been concluded”, a spokesman from the sports parliamentary secretariat said.

The government remains tight-lipped about the status of negotiations of a project that was to employ 800 and be “one of the largest multi-sports facilities in southern Europe”.

In a curt reply to a series of questions sent by The Sunday Times, the spokesman said: “Negotiations regarding the White Rocks Sports and Leisure Village have not been concluded. Details about the outcome shall be given to Parliament and the media in due course.”

The government’s approach contrasts sharply with the public relations exercise it embarked upon to announce the deal last year.

The project – what was to turn the derelict White Rocks complex in Baħar iċ-Ċagħaq into a sports and leisure village – was announced by Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi during a press event in June 9 last year at Castille in the presence of the sport community.

Dr Gonzi had said the government would incur no costs of construction, operation and maintenance of the project since it was to be fully financed by UK consortium White Rocks Holding Company Ltd and its financial partner Resolution Property plc, a major UK real estate fund.

The government had even published a leaflet flaunting the project that included a breakdown of facts about the sports village and quotes by Maltese sports enthusiasts applauding the initiative.

Over the years, the White Rocks, a former tourist complex, has turned into a derelict area.

According to the brief, the area is meant to be completely revived, featuring a range of venues for various sports, conference and leisure facilities, a 200-room hotel and up to 300 residential units.

The project was to be developed over five years from the full development permit.