Investors’ interest already piqued by government’s Revive programme

It’s a pro-active plan for the country’s rundown monuments, and it has already piqued the interest of investors from Brazil, America and even Portugal.

The government’s Revive initiative is aimed at leasing 30 “historic buildings” that are otherwise being left to moulder.

Castles, convents, monasteries and palaces, many of them have been deemed “in urgent need of intervention”.

Thus the bright idea to turn them into tourist attractions – hotels that will attract people with more fanciful tendencies.

The list of properties is impressive: Elvas’ Convento de São Paulo, the castle of Vila Nova de Cerveira, Amarante’s São Salvador monastery, monasteries in Arouca and Coimbra, Guincho fort in Cascais, Évora’s Quinta do Paço de Valverde, even the rundown fort de S. Roque on Meia Praia in Lagos – which council executives have been trying to get their hands on for years, for very similar purposes.

Brazilian website mundolusiada suggests the government hopes the plan attracts as much as 150 million in investment.

Already hotel chain Vila Galé has won the chance to transform Elvas’ Convento, and more interest in other properties is said to be ‘awakening’.

Culture minister Ana Mendes Godinho says Revive will start by releasing 11 properties for tourism, and then expand the programme to include others.

She says the project is “very exciting” as it involves the private sector empowering the sustainable use of cultural heritage, creating jobs and promoting tourism.

And the beauty of it all is that the government retains ownership of the monuments, even after they have been restored.

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