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Frontpage News 2013 Safeguarding industrial heritage

Culture conference Czech Republic Photo: EHP a Norské fondy, Czech National Focal Point

Safeguarding industrial heritage

Inside the old gasworks in Ostrava, conference participants discussed how industrial cultural heritage can be preserved by finding new ways of use.

The Ostrava- Karvina coal mining district in the Czech Republic used to be one of the most important centres of coal mining and heavy industry in Europe, but many of the industrial companies have or are being closed down or transformed. The big gasworks in the city has now been converted into a conference centre where a EEA and Norway Grants conference on industrial cultural heritage took place on 5 November.

The conference brought together around 100 representatives from the Czech Republic and the EEA and Norway Grants donor states presenting good examples of how industrial cultural heritage can be transformed.

Heritage and job development
‘Ostrava is an example of a region suffering from industrial decline where new use of the industrial cultural heritage has potential to drive economic and job growth through re-adaptive use of the heritage’, said Frode Fjeldavli, Country Officer for Czech Republic at the EEA and Norway Grants Financial Mechanism Office. Fjeldavli was one of the speakers at the conference organised by the national contact point for the Grants in the Czech Republic and funded by the EEA and Norway Grants fund for strengthening bilateral relations between the Czech Republic and the donor states Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

Culture conference Czech Republic Frode Fjeldavli FMO PhotO. EHP a Norské fondy, Czech National Focal Point Frode Fjeldavli from the EEA and Norway Grants Financial Mechanism Office speaking at the conference.

Examples from donor states
Industrial cultural heritage plays an important role for Liechtenstein since industrialisation revolutionised all areas of live in a country which had not changed much for centuries before the arrival of new technologies. At the conference, examples of how historical industrial buildings remain part of the architectural landscape and open and accessible for the public were presented.
From Norway, Notodden municipality presented their use and renovation of industrial heritage and Tou Scene in Stavanger presented how they have transformed a brewery into a cultural centre.

Preservation of cultural heritage in the Czech Republic
The cultural heritage and cultural diversity programme in the Czech Republic is the largest EEA and Norway Grants programme in the country in the current funding period. Read more about the programme.

Find out about what the Grants fund in the Czech Republic on www.eeagrants.org/Czech-Republic