The Geroskipou Municipality has purchased the old silk factory, one of the first craft industries of Cyprus, the existence of which was not known even to many residents of the area. The silk factory was operating in 1900 and much later the area was used as the Paphos New Recruits Training Center.
According to the Cultural Officer of the Municipality Nicos Palios, in 1924, the colonial government of Cyprus gave permission to an English company to establish a silk factory in Geroskipou. The area was chosen because at the time Paphos was producing the most significant number of silk cocoons of very good quality.
“Two years later, in 1926, the Cyprus Silk Filature Ltd began its operation after its inauguration by the British Governor M. Stevenson,” Palios explained.
The factory employed more than 180 workers from the area’s villages and was producing 12,000-13,000 kilos of silk. The factory finally closed when the production of silk became unprofitable after the industrialization of other types of textiles made silk fabric non-competitive. For the same reason, silkworm farming in Cyprus also stopped.
In 1934 the biggest part of the factory was sold to local businessman N. K. Lanitis and with the beginning of World War II, the factory was requisitioned by the British for the manufacturing of parachutes. The factory closed in 1952.
Finally, in 1964, the Republic of Cyprus requisitioned the former silk factory and established there the Paphos New Recruits Training Center where thousands of National Guard soldiers have been trained for almost four decades.
At the end of the 20th century, the New Recruits Training Center was moved to Anarita village, so in January 2021, the Geroskipou Municipality purchased the whole area “to use it for the benefit of the municipality and of its residents.”
According to Palios, the building is of high value and has to be developed by protecting and restoring its architectural and cultural heritage.
In order to properly use the area, the Geroskipou Municipality opened a public dialogue with the region’s municipalities discussing various proposals to develop the old factory.