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First tenders for Hungarian Village Program called

The government on Wednesday called the first tenders in the Hungarian Village Program, a HUF 150 billion rural development scheme that aims to slow depopulation in communities with fewer than 5,000 residents, state news wire MTI reported.

A typical village in Hungary (photo: Zoltán Major/Shutterstock.com)

The aim of the tenders is to "strengthen local identity by developing public spaces" with the involvement of churches as well as local community and cultural centers.

The first tenders allocate HUF 7 bln in funding for churches and HUF 6 bln for community and cultural centers. The monies may be used for the upgrade of buildings, the organization of community programs, and wage support for people to staff such programs.

The funding is capped at HUF 15 million per project for building upgrades, HUF 5 mln for community programs, and just under HUF 3 mln for wage support.

In the case of churches, funding for building upgrades may be used for disused buildings and public spaces owned by churches, but not for churches and chapels.

Funded projects must be completed in a period of 18 months, but no later than the end of 2020.