Cyprus Mail

Paphos old town pins hopes on upgrading work

file photo

By Bejay Browne

AS Paphos municipality readies the town for Christmas, retailers and store owners in the old part of town are pinning their hopes on upgrading works in the area being completed swiftly to encourage visitors back to the area.

“The Christmas lights and decorations may be going up, but it’s not going to be busy in the area this year. People in Paphos aren’t as happy as the other towns as there is no master plan,” said Kyriacos Kyriacou, the head of the ‘Friends of Paphos Old Town’.

He said that he believes trade in Ktima (Paphos old town) will be slow this Christmas, and added that businesses in the area are not expecting a busy festive period.

“November has been a very bad month and this is not a good sign; it’s not really busy this year. Hopefully, if all of the planned upgrading works are completed, the area can once again start to become a destination that people want to go to,” he said.

In June, president Nicos Anastasiades announced €60m worth of projects for Paphos, of which there are 19 including the regeneration of the traditional shopping centre and Kennedy Square, the restoration of the municipal market and the upgrading and enhancement of the Markideion theatre.

Other planned projects include connecting and enhancing the squares of October 28, Kosti Palama and Dionysios Solomos (around the town hall), the expansion of the police station, an additional floor for the disctrict court, a project to join together archaeological sites, the improvement of the Paphos archaeological museum, and the construction of breakwaters at a notoriously deadly stretch of coastline close to the Venus Beach hotel.

“I believe that Paphos can be a very busy centre in all aspects. However, unlike the other towns in Cyprus, for decades there was no masterplan and this is why we are trailing behind. The other towns went after EU funds and these projects have now matured, and they are reaping the benefits. This didn’t happen in Paphos.”

Kyriakou said that despite the current situation, he and many others believe that Paphos could be a fantastic town.

“We are pushing the mayor and other authorities to come up with a proper plan, even the nearby villages should have this. This will also encourage investors to the area and keep them informed about the vision for the future.”

Yesterday, municipal workers were seen on the old town’s main shopping streets erecting festive decorations and preparing the town for the forthcoming festivities.

Mayor Phedonas Phedonos will switch on the lights at 5.30pm on Wednesday at October 28 Square (town hall square).

The philharmonic municipal band, the Paphos municipality choir, orchestra and dancers will all provide entertainment.

There are also a number of events planned for the old town during the holiday season.

On December 12 there will be festive melodies from the Nicosia Police band in the municipal market square at 12 noon, and there will be Christmas songs from the Paphos municipality orchestra on December 20 from 11.30am, also at the municipal market.

Details of further events are available from the Paphos municipal cultural department.



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