€40 mln boost for Nicosia old town

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The government will inject €40 mln into revamping Nicosia’s old town within the walls, with schemes to upgrade residents’ quality of life and attract new businesses.

Presenting the Action Plan for the old town of Nicosia on Monday, President Nicos Anastasiades said, in addition to the educational and business incentives, it also addressed young couples looking for a home.

Anastasiades said: “The total budget exceeds €40 mln, while the inclusion of actions €25 mln for revamping the capital’s historical centre in the Recovery and Sustainability Plan, is proof of the importance attached to creating a modern city but maintaining its character”.

The government’s plans include the transfer of the School of Architecture of the University of Cyprus to the Faneromeni area, the operation of student halls, the maintenance of abandoned buildings, and the landscaping of others that need upgrading.

Some €15 mln is earmarked as sponsorship for the construction of student dormitories with a minimum of 560 rooms.

An Entrepreneurship Support Sponsorship Scheme is to provide government money to financially support businesses that are privately owned or rented in the area.

The plan, which will run to 2026, amounts to €10 mln.

The amount of the grants will exceed 50% of the eligible cost.

Up to €80,000 will be given to businesses who would consider moving their base or branching out to the old town.

Incentives will also be given to couples considering buying a home there.

Some €5 mln has been earmarked for this scheme and will be available during the three years 2023-2025.

The city within the walls will be strengthened through other projects of the EU Recovery and Sustainability Plan, such as upgrading traditional catering facilities and schemes for the energy-efficient buildings, for which approximately €100 mln will be allocated.

More than €20 mln relates to energy upgrading of homes and tackling energy poverty.

The schemes will be carried out under the auspices of the Interior Ministry.

Interior Minister, Nicos Nouris, noted that within the walls is the core of the capital’s urban centre and is connected spatially, functionally, and symbolically with the rest of Nicosia.