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200,000 visitors expected to visit Zakusala TV Tower annually after modernization

If the necessary funds are collected to transform the Zakusala TV Tower into an attractive tourism object, it is planned that approximately 200,000 visitors could visit the tower annually, which is the same number of persons that visit Riga Zoo, said Janis Bokta, board chairman of the state-owned joint-stock company "Latvijas Valsts radio un televizijas centrs" (LVRTC).

At the moment, approximately 6,000 persons visit the Zakusala TV Tower every year. Bokta said that the project is expected to the completed by 2018.

Bokta said that he hopes to attract LVL 7 or 8 million from European Union funds during the next financial period in order to reconstruct the TV tower, however, he added that this project will have to compete with other Latvian projects.

For example, Tallinn's TV Tower was visited by 240,000 people in the first nine months after reconstruction. The tower was closed for reconstruction in 2007 and reopened last April. Almost EUR 7 million from EU funds was invested in the project.

LVRTC hopes to make use of the same funding mechanism, and the total amount necessary for reconstruction of the tower is estimated at LVL 7 million, of which LVRTC could provide approximately 20 percent or LVL 1.4 million.

The Zakusala TV Tower, constructed in the 1980's, is 368 meters high and is the highest tower in the European Union. The tower's viewing platform is located 97 meters high, and is the highest viewing platform in the city, with excellent views of Old Town, the Daugava River and the rest of the Latvian capital. On clear days, it is even possible to see the Gulf of Riga and even Sigulda.


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