The Hungarian government is launching a HUF 33bn (USD 11.8m) programme to restore dozens of castles and palaces across the country for touristic purposes. Under the scheme, historic buildings can apply for support between HUF 50m and HUF 1.5bn, or HUF 3bn in the case of world heritage sites. Funding may total up to 100 per cent of the full costs of reconstruction, Balázs Rákossy, State Secretary at the Ministry for National Economy responsible for the utilisation of EU resources, told the state news agency MTI on Friday.
Monuments earmarked for redevelopment under the scheme include the castles at Eger, Diósgyőr, Esztergom and Sirok, as well as the Batthyány Palace and its gardens at Bicske and the Benczúr Palace at Szécsény. The ministry is receiving individual applications for resonstruction works from late September onwards. Activities eligible for being granted support from the programme’s framework include establishing a unique touristic profile, covering the innovative development of attractions building upon the location’s uniqueness with the aim of enhancing touristic experience, as well as restoring the venue’s original functions and innovative and innovative technical development to improve the ability to draw visitors.
Reconstruction works will be directed at the establishment of multifunctional exhibition halls and infrastructural developments necessary to organise cultural and artistic events with an international outreach, including festivals, connected to the building’s history and function, the State Secretary explained. This will include creating conditions to receive visitors, tourist reception areas and trainings to hand over specific knowledge on the maintenance of the building, he added.