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Capital's thermal baths get Ft 3.6 bln for upgrades

The government and the city of Budapest will spend Ft 3.6 billion on improvements at three of the capital's historic thermal baths over the next two years, business daily Világgazdaság reported on Thursday.

The three baths, the Gellért, the Lukács and the Széchenyi, will receive a combined Ft 2.23 billion made available in a tender from the Hungarian Tourism Office as well as Ft 1.335 billion from the local council, Tibor Rák, technical director for Budapest Gyógyfürdő Zrt, the company which operates all of the baths, told the paper.
The Gellért baths will receive Ft 980 million from the tourism office and Ft 570 million from the local council, the Lukács will be awarded Ft 750 million from the state and Ft 460 million from the city, and the Széchenyi will get Ft 500 million from the state and Ft 305 million from the city.
Tender documentation for general contractors to carry out the projects planned at the baths may be purchased for 40 days from August 20, Rák said. Winners are expected to be picked by the beginning of November at the latest, and work could start as soon as early next year.
Budapest Gyógyfürdő has spent Ft 7 billion on improvements and renovations at its baths around the capital and in Hévíz, near the Balaton, over the past seven years. About Ft 5 billion of this amount was spent to modernize the baths' water filtration systems, including Ft 1.6 billion alone at the Palatinus baths in Budapest. About Ft 1 billion was spent to make improvements to baths' exteriors.
There are 14 baths in Hungary included on the national list of protected historical buildings, eight of them in Budapest