The government’s plan to revitalise mountain communities by 2030 was presented on Thursday, with the grand project including more than 300 actions budgeted at €400 million.
President Nicos Anastasiades said highly significant road network projects are underway, serving to improve connectivity between urban centres and the countryside, and particularly mountain communities.
Anastasiades said permanent residents of communities outside urban centres can now apply for support grants, with the new scheme covering 105 communities and foreseeing an annual allowance of €400 for residents of communities located at least 40km from an urban centre. The allowance increases gradually depending on distance, Anastasiades said, reaching up to €600 per family. Permanent residents of the 110 mountain communities with an altitude of more than 600 meters are also eligible to support allowance.
Anastasiades said the goal is to reverse the trend of abandonment of rural and mountain areas, with the government’s plans to benefit a total of 386 communities that correspond to around 70% of all communities in government-controlled areas.
In his speech, Minister of Interior Nicos Nouris said that the main goal is to revitalise and develop mountain communities in a way that creates new prospects for the existing population while also attracting new residents, investors and visitors.
Nouris said that this year, 83 projects and actions have been promoted and some have already been completed in the 113 communities of Troodos, with a total cost of €237 million.
Deputy Minister of Tourism Savvas Perdios said that there has been interest in buying existing hotels in the mountain areas, which are either closed or under-operated, as well as in buying land from both Cypriot and foreign investors in the mountains and the countryside for the construction of new hotel units.