The historic Greek islet of Spinalonga, a former colony of lepers made known internationally by British writer Victoria Hislop, will receive 2.5 million euros for its electricity and water supply systems, the mayor of Agios Nikolaos said on Thursday.

Spinalonga faces Elounda and belongs to the Agios Nikolaos prefecture. It was a lookout island for the Venetians, who built a fortress on it in the 16th century and was later occupied by the Ottoman Turks, who turned it into a trading hub in the 19th century. The arid islet became a leper colony and community in 1903 until it was shut down in 1957.

Agios Nikolaos Mayor Antonis Zervos said the grant of the Filodimos II program through the Ministry of Interior was a result of efforts by “Greece 2021” Committee Chair Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki, “who accepted the proposals during her visit to Elounda and advanced the Agios Nikolaos city’s request with the Interior Ministry.”