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Frontpage News 2008 Grants for regional development awarded in Estonia

Grants for regional development awarded in Estonia

Estonia`s €3.8 million fund for regional development has concluded its first open call. Grants have been awarded to 22 projects seeking to increase the attractiveness and competitiveness of Estonian regions and local authorities.

Following the fund`s spring call, which generated 52 applications, 22 have now been selected for funding. Half of the projects will be implemented by local governments or local government associations and 14 % by county governments. One third of the supported projects were submitted by non-profit associations and foundations.
"The programme supporting the regional projects favours the cooperation of local governments. For instance, the local governments can jointly hire an expert to provide advice on how to solve the problems of public transport," Minister of Regional Affairs Siim Kiisler said. "With the help of the grants it is possible to improve the accessibility of Internet and e-services in rural areas and to start cooperation projects with partners from the countries of the European Economic Area, primarily from Norway."
The grants awarded to the local and regional authorities will be applied to cooperation projects aimed at preparing regional strategies and plans, carrying out research, preparing the merger of local governments, creating public Internet Access points and wireless Internet areas and organisation of workshops, where the skills proceeding from the traditions of the area will be taught.
The projects by non-profit organisations include activities contributing to the increase of employment, as well as delegation of public services to the non-profit associations in order to improve their quality and accessibility.
Read more on the web page of fund manager Estonia Enterprise.