The cost of restoration works at St Paul’s Anglican Pro-Cathedra in Valletta has doubled to more than €7 million, officials said on Wednesday.
Speaking at a press conference held at the cathedral’s recently restored undercroft, the co-chairman of the Save Valletta Skyline appeal, Martin Scicluna, said that over €1 million had been raised privately and an application had been made for a further €5 million in EU funding.
Prince Charles and billionaire theatrical producer Sir Cameron Mackintosh – who owns a home in Valletta – are among the hundreds of private donors. Some €1.2 million have also already been received in EU funding, but substantial sums are still required to achieve the new campaign target of over €7 million.
The reasons for the additional costs arise from the deeper expert analysis and scrutiny of the structure and fabric of the tower, spire and roof.
“The project to restore the cathedral aims to contribute significantly to the regeneration of the area by turning it into a thriving and attractive communal and tourism centre," Mr Scicluna said.
“It seeks to be the social hub not just for the cathedral’s congregation, but also for the local community, related groups and third-party users for a range of activities from musical concerts to meetings and exhibitions, lectures and seminars.”
Mr Scicluna said the committee will hold a briefing session for Valletta residents as part of its Good Neighbour strategy to update them on the project.
The pro-cathedral and its landmark spire were built 175-year-ago but the structure deteriorated dramatically in recent years. The tower was also damaged during the war.
Work is expected to start on the internal scaffolding of the tower in late summer and safety hoarding will be put in place shortly. Meanwhile, the external scaffolding around the tower will be erected early next year.
The works are expected to take around three years.
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