At the end of February, financial, urban and other incentives are announced regarding the city within the walls of Nicosia in order to improve the image of the historic center, upgrade the quality of life of existing residents and attract new ones, as well as the operation of new businesses.
The above effort includes the transfer of the School of Architecture of the University of Cyprus to Faneromeni, the operation of student dormitories and the maintenance of mostly abandoned buildings or the landscaping of others which are operating but need upgrading.
Among the incentives that will be given, in the first phase, are included € 10m. for strengthening the professional activity, € 15 million for the formation of student dormitories, € 5 million for private housing, building factor, facilities for parking spaces, etc.
The Minister of Finance, Konstantinos Petridis, who initiated the process of “liberating” Nicosia from the long-term blockade of abandonment, told “F” that especially for the upgrade of buildings the sponsorship will exceed 50%, although the aid is also related to the funds to be allocated. He clarified, however, that if there is interest, a second package of measures may follow.
It is worth noting that after the announcement of the transfer of the school of architecture in Faneromeni, ordinary citizens and businessmen looked for buildings in the area in order to buy them. At the same time, homeowners who were considering selling them have taken a step back and are waiting for developments.
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Especially regarding the apartment buildings that exist in the old city, the Minister of Finance remarked that since they meet the specifications to be formed into homes, it would be a good idea to show interest in their maintenance. This is partly because such an action would bring new people to the city, and partly because it would change the image of chronic abandonment.
It is worth noting that the Archdiocese, the Monastery of Kykkos and Faneromeni also have buildings to utilize and interest has already been shown.
Asked about it, the Minister of Finance stated that Nicosia is a living monument which should be used for the good of its inhabitants and the city in general. Nicosia, he said, is becoming a university city, coming to life with students, homes and related services that will be created, while creating prospects for development at other levels, something that was not possible due to the invasion and the distortions that had it fix and disorganize.
At this point, Mr. Petridis points out that in order for the above to become a reality, anachronistic perceptions must be abandoned in order to complete the plan of sustainable mobility with sidewalks, reduction of vehicles, provision of facilities for pedestrians and generally the creation of a friendly environment for them. people.
We ask for the cooperation of everyone, from the citizens, the visitors to the shopkeepers, because if the city operates, the general benefit that will result will have positive effects on an individual level, said Mr. Petridis. Finally, he expressed the hope that with the appropriate measures, Nicosia will follow in the footsteps of other European cities which have experienced rapid growth.
Incentives to be granted include:
>> Review of the existing incentives regarding the utilization of Preserved Buildings in order to make them more attractive and to give the owners an incentive to restore the Restoration of Preserved Buildings (concerns rate transfer but also financial support).
>> Introduction of a series of urban incentives for the development of buildings in its area within the walls of Nicosia (eg reduction of parking requirements, reduction of the purchase price of parking spaces, exemption of the requirement to indicate parking spaces for new buildings in pedestrian areas, relocation ).
>> Entrepreneurship Support Sponsorship Scheme: Provide incentives, in the form of government sponsorship, to financially support businesses that are privately owned or rented, to boost business in the area. The Budget of the Plan for 5 years amounts to € 10m. The amount of the grant will exceed 50% of the eligible cost.
>> Sponsorship Plan for Converting Buildings into Dormitories / Rooms: Providing incentives in the form of government sponsorship to building owners or tenants to renovate their premises, in order to be used for a fixed period of time with the basic use of student dormitories / rooms. The Budget of the Plan for 5 years amounts to € 15 million. The amount of the grant will exceed 50% of the eligible cost.
>> Grant Scheme for Acquisition of Private Property: It will have the object of providing financial support for the acquisition of private property for permanent ownership. This Project will be funded with € 5 million for a period of 5 years. The amount of the grant and the selection criteria will be the same as the current Housing Plan for the Rehabilitation of Mountainous, Critical and Disadvantaged Areas, with an area within the walls of Nicosia.
The motives of the first phase
The Ministry of Finance considers that the Action Plan promoted in cooperation with other ministries and services, is a comprehensive intervention within the walls of Nicosia, and addressed to all involved population groups (residents, investors, businessmen, landowners, users, etc. ο.κ.).
The interventions that are being promoted will mainly focus on making public investments in and providing the appropriate incentive framework for the private sector to undertake individual investments. Indicatively, actions are included that concern:
(a) Renovation of the historical school of Faneromeni and housing of a university school.
(b) Financial sponsorship for the creation of desirable uses and the development of entrepreneurship in desirable branches.
(c) Employment subsidy schemes.
(d) Urban incentives and improvement of urban infrastructure.
(e) Traffic facilities.
The aim of the above interventions is, according to the Ministry of Finance, to strengthen social and business activity within the city walls, acting as a pole of traffic.
The main goal of the Plan is the regeneration and revitalization of the area, through:
>> Encourage development that can make a significant contribution to the desired economic and development outcome.
>> Creating new jobs.
>> Creating an investment climate and attracting investors.
>> Facilitate the restoration of the existing abandoned / old remarkable buildings, through financial and urban incentives.
>> Utilization of vacant land and existing abandoned buildings.
>> Encourage entrepreneurship and private sector initiative.