NICOSIA – The center of Cyprus’ capital of Nicosia can be a grey and dreary place but will be renovated in a 40-million euro ($43.18) master plan focused in the popular tourist areas within the historic Venetian walls.
Some 25 million euros ($27 million) will come from Cyprus’ National Recovery and Resilience Fund, which is supported by European Union resources, reported Kathimerini, giving the government a boost.
It will take four years, through 2026 and will move the University of Cyprus’ School of Architecture to the historic Faneromeni School, incentives for the creation of student residences, subsidies to boost entrepreneurship in the city center, urban incentives, as well as a plan to provide economic support for the purchase of primary residences, the report said.
“This is a series of targeted actions which will enable the capital to claim that the city is changing,” President Nicos Anastasiades told an event held in the Presidential Palace about the ambitious goals.
He added that plan will complement other projects taking place in the city, such as the rebuilding of Eleftheria Square, the new National Theater, the revival of the Municipal Theater and the new central bus station at Solomou Square as Cyprus for this year is trying to lure tourists during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Finance Minister Constantinos Petrides said that due to the 1974 Turkish invasion, Nicosia is the only divided capital of Europe and noted that the area within constitutes “our historic identity.”
Interior Minister Nicos Nouris, said “that this plan constitutes the beginning of the implementation of a vision and a decades-old goal to lift the uprooting of the city center,” and make it more attractive.
Mayor Constantinos Yiorkadjis said even with the challenges and costs of the pandemic and tourism battered for two years that the government is committed to creating a revival of the area, that can be sad indeed.
“Abandoning the area would be tantamount to an indirect acknowledgement of the faits accomplis of the Turkish invasion and occupation,” he said, referring to Turkey seizing and occupying the northern third of the island.
The plan includes 15 million euros ($16.19 million) in subsidies to attract facilities for the accommodation of approximately 580 university students ain existing or new buildings.
Another 10 million euros ($10.79 million) will go to subsidies to boost entrepreneurship in the city center and attract new businesses and provide more to do for visitors.
The government is expected in January 2023 to launch a 5 million euro ($5.4 million) plan subsidize the purchase of primary residences in the city center along the model of the plan for remote and mountainous areas, the report said.