New life for old towns
5 towns in the Slovenian region of Gorenjska revitalised their old town centres by making historical sites into meeting place for inhabitants.
One historic building in each of the 5 old town centres in Kranj, Radovljica, Škofja Loka, Trič and Jesenice/Stara Sava has been renovated to conserve the cultural heritage value of the buildings and make the areas more interesting and appealing to visitors. The local authorities hope the Norway Grants- funded project will act as catalyst for revitalising the old town centres, making them attractive for both inhabitants and tourists. Above all, the local authorities have attempted to introduce measures that would create a foundation for both cultural and economic activity.
Hedmark County Administration, Norway, has been an active project partner since the start-up in 2005. "What they wanted us to help with was organising the activities that could create a cultural and economic impetus in these urban areas so that these buildings would gradually have a kind of pivotal function", says Tove Krattbøl at the Office of the County Governor of Hedmark. Krattbøl underlines the importance of mutual inspiration. The exchange of ideas for the works that took place in the Slovene towns also benefited the local development in the municipalities in Hedmark.
In the town of Radovljica, the historical building that has been renovated has previously been used as housing for social welfare clients. During the renovation works, the remains of a splendid old assembly room in the baroque style were discovered. It was in a state of decay and had almost been forgotten. The room has now been restored and returned to its former grandeur and décor, and it will be used for weddings and other celebrations. The stately first floor of the building will become a museum devoted to a contemporary of Mozart, the playwright and historian Anton Tomaz Linhart (1756-1795).
The Slovene town renewal project is one of 225 cultural heritage projects that receive support under the EEA and Norway Grants. The restoration of historic buildings and fortifications, the renovation of museums, and the conservation of urban areas, cultural landscapes and historical documents have boosted activity and employment in both central and rural areas in the beneficiary states. New attractions of historical interest have also helped to put the enlarged EU on the tourist map.
Photo credit: NMFA
LIVELY OLD TOWN Integrated approach to the old town renewal in Gorenjska region
Conservation of European cultural heritage
€ 1 211 242
Type & project assistance:
BSC, Business Support Centre, l.t.d., Kranj
Grant agreement date:
24 January 2007
The Project relates to the old town renewal and regeneration of five old town centres in the Gorenjska Region: Kranj, Radovljica, Škofja Loka, Tržic, and Jesenice/ Stara Sava. It aims to reverse recent, gradual economic and social decline of their old town centres. The renovation of key sites, combined with the training of public officials within these towns in the field of old town revitalisation, is intended to bring the public back into the centres by way of cultural events planned at the sites. In addition to the application, dated 29 September 2005, the awarding of the Grant is based on the letter from the Project Promoter dated 15 February 2006.
Summary of the activities to be financed through the Grant –
• launching the old town regeneration process, including setting up teams, a start-up conference, introductory training for local project managers and facilitators, publicity campaigns, and preparation of plans for future activities;
• Kranj’s house: reconstruction of exhibition hall, multipurpose room, toilets, cellar and first floor, and purchase of multimedia and ICT equipment;
• Culture Centre Tržic: reconstruction of main hall and supporting rooms, and purchase of furniture, upgrading of PA system;
• Crystal hall - Škofja Loka: reconstruction of main hall, entrance hall, dressing room, toilets;
• Square Stara Sava: external completion of the square with paving stones; and
• Linhart Museum – Radovljica: renovation of tower into multipurpose hall, renovation of the first floor of the Radovljica manor for the Linhart Museum.
For this Project, the BSC, Business Support Centre, ltd., is the Project Promoter.
The project consists of seven project partners of which five are the municipalities in which the buildings are located, one is a Norwegian regional partner, and one is the Association of Historical Towns of Slovenia.
The following municipalities shall jointly provide at least 15 per cent of the eligible project cost as co-financing: Kranj (at least 18.8 per cent of the co-financing), Radovljica (at least 20.0 per cent of the co-financing), Škofja Loka (at least 20.3 per cent of the co-financing), Tržic (at least 20.2 per cent of the co-financing), and Jesenice/ Stara Sava (at least 20.7 per cent of the co-financing).