The Mdina Tower of the Standard, the Mayor’s Garden and underground shelters below these buildings were handed over to the local council yesterday for an annual rental fee of €975.

The properties, covering more than 5000 metres square, will be used to furnish the island’s old capital city with more facilities under the administration of the local council, the government said yesterday.

The tower is already being used as a tourist information office, and the garden and shelters will be cleaned, restored and opened to the public.

“Through the devolution of public land, the government reiterates its faith in local councils while ensuring that the country’s historical heritage is used in the best way possible,” Parliamentary Secretary Jason Azzopardi said during the handing over yesterday.

The local council would be administering this land at a highly subsidised rate compared to what would have been expected from private leasing, Dr Azzopardi noted.

The commercial renting of these properties was estimated to be worth around €30,000 a year, he said.

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