British who loves nothing more than a sunny spanish holiday are being given the chance to turn their brief escape into something more permanent – with an added cash incentive.
Ponga, a town and municipality in northwestern Spain, is offering £2,600 per person to those who move there in a bid to boost the local economy.
And couples who have children after moving will be given an additional £2,600 for each baby born there.
There’s only one condition: you have to commit to living in the town for five years or more.
The benefits? This part of Spain sees 44 per cent more hours of sun each year than the UK.
The municipality is home to a vast nature reserve on the edge of the Cantabrian Mountains, which means hidden walking routes, forests and wildlife.
It’s in the region of Asturias, known for its dramatic coast, deep valleys and soaring hillsides, plus plenty of pre-Romanesque architecture. The nearest city to Ponga is Gijon, which is around 90 minutes away by car drive.
A number of locations have launched similar schemes to attract fresh blood to the area, often with more stringent terms than the ones offered by this Spanish initiative.
Presicce, in Italy’s Puglia regionoffered up to €30,000 (£26,200) for people to move therealthough incomers needed to use the money to buy an empty property and renovate it.
Calabria, the southern region of Italy located in the country’s “toe”, launched a scheme to pay people up to €28,000 (£24,400) to relocate to villages with 2,000 residents or fewer that are suffering from depopulation.
Applicants had to be aged 40 or under, move to Calabria within 90 days of being accepted, and either start a business or take on a specific job.
More widely, Italy has launched a “One Euro Homes Scheme” in recent years where new inhabitants can buy a vacant house for just €1 in communities struggling with depopulation. There are often strings attached, such as a commitment to renovate the property within a certain timeframe, and a commitment to use the property as a primary resident for a minimum length of time.