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Larnaca draws on €30m in EU funding

Finikoudes (this is the correct spelling), Phinikoudes
Finikoudes, Larnaca

Larnaca municipality managed to procure over €30 million from European funds, and a massive revamp of the city and municipality are underway, Mayor of Larnaca, Andreas Vyras, said on Wednesday.

“The municipal council has started an intensive effort to mature new projects, with the aim of being ready to secure European funds and approved funds for the current programming period [and beyond],” Vyras said.

“We have proven that we can complete projects according to the specifications of the EU funds, and the municipality of Larnaca has been characterised as a “model municipality” for the extraction of the specific funds,” he added.

The mayor noted that while the funds for Larnaca, based on initial allocation, corresponded to around €11 million, with the maturation and construction of new projects, the municipality has managed to draw around €30 million.

Asked about the removal of the gas facilities from the Larnaca waterfront, the mayor said that what remains is the demolition of the Intergaz company’s facilities, for which the environmental study is expected by the end of year or in January at the latest.

A study by the marine works department is expected for the recovery of 60 metres of beach the mayor noted adding that “the goal of the municipality is to have a public beach wherever possible and not just a jetty.”

Regarding the port-marina, Vyras noted that information from Around Town, the main project shareholder, is that within May the large-scale project is expected to begin according to plan and final approvals received from the state.

The projects that are in the process of maturation, the mayor said, include the Salina and Pattichio Parks; renovation of the Larnaca Police Department; restoration of the former Rex cinema; reconstruction of Vasileos Pavlou Square; the third phase of redevelopment of streets in the city centre with disabled access; the highlighting of archaeological sites; and the construction of social housing.

These projects are expected to start within the next few months and it is estimated that within two years residents will have several new buildings at their disposal, among them a new Municipal Hall, on which work will start in the new year, to be housed in the old Larnaca hospital, once Okypy services have been relocated to their new site.

Proposals submitted to the municipal council also include the creation of a sports park; museums and squares; and the linking of neighbourhood parks with pedestrian walkways and bicycle paths; as well as a folklore museum in the area of ​​Ayios Ioannis, while an architectural competition is expected to be announced to revamp Finikoudes beach.

A comprehensive study for the restoration of listed buildings is anticipated with incentives granted for owners of properties in the city centre.

The plans include a technology and a PV park in the form of a joint project, which will be formed after the municipal merger with Leivadia and of Oroklini.

Moreover, Vyras said, the municipal council approved a proposal for construction of a new Museum of Sea and Culture in the area of ​​Pamboulas, a new urban park in the area of ​​the refineries, and an overall upgrade of Mackenzie Beach. The park will include greenery, sports areas, bike paths, artists’ paths, outdoor art exhibitions, a small outdoor amphitheatre and an events square.

Also foreseen are extensions of the existing projects of Acropolis and Alki squares with paving and sidewalks to make these disabled-accessible, up to the Chrysopolitissa roundabout and around ancient Kitio, the old port and up to the location where the “Labours of Hercules” mosaic was discovered.

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