Regeneration project boosts Limassol town centre for residents, visitors and businesses

Cyprus’s second city of Limassol has had new life breathed into it as a result of a major urban regeneration project that has spruced up the city’s historic city centre.

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New pedestrian zones have made the town centre of Limassol more attractive for residents and visitors alike New pedestrian zones have made the town centre of Limassol more attractive for residents and visitors alike

The project has seen streets, buildings, squares and other public spaces in the city centre restored to their former glory. In addition, pedestrian zones have been created that have improved the attractiveness, as well as the air quality, of commercial and residential areas.

Construction work on the project got underway in 2010 and has involved laying newly-designed paving stones in public places, installing attractive new street furniture as well as the planting of hundreds of trees. Underground, the project has involved the building of new electricity, telecommunications and water connections to properties in the 335 580-square-metre area of the project.

By the time construction work is completed in 2013, it is hoped that the local economy will have received a significant boost from the rising number of visitors to the new look city centre.

In a country where tourism is one of the main industries, this will be a significant achievement in itself. But it is not just tourists, but also the city’s residents who will benefit from the regeneration project as one of the aims of the project has been to redefine the centre of Limassol as the centre of social, cultural and other activities for the 90 000 people who live in the Limassol municipality as well as the 187 000 people who live in the wider metropolitan area.

Creating jobs and improving the city’s social fabric

As the city centre becomes more attractive it is hoped that the squares and other public places will increasingly become meeting places for social activities. By restoring dilapidated buildings and improving traffic management it is also hoped that the project will lead to more families choosing to live in the city centre.

Project manager Coralia Massoura said that project had helped to preserve the cultural identity of Limassol’s historic centre by highlighting its traditional architecture. The city’s environment and quality of life has been improved and the city’s marketability and competitiveness has been boosted. During the course of 2012 over 50 new businesses – mostly shops, cafés and restaurants – opened for business in the project area and over 300 jobs were created. In addition, further jobs have been created in areas close to the project area and the upswing in business confidence has prompted many business owners to restore their buildings.

“Although there is an economic crisis, the important thing is that existing businesses have not closed down and there is a continuous increase in interest for new enterprises in the area,” Ms Massoura said.

Total and EU funding

The “Regeneration of the Town Centre of Limassol” project had a total budget of EUR 18 400 000, of which the EU’s European Regional Development Fund contributed EUR 15 640 000 through the Cyprus “Sustainable Development and Competitiveness” operational programme for the 2007 to 2013 programming period.

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