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Frontpage News 2013 Call for proposals: Safeguarding manor schools in Estonia

Photo: Project promoter for EE0047 - Renovation of the Puurmani Manor building, Estonia

Call for proposals: Safeguarding manor schools in Estonia

Of the once 1500 manor houses in Estonia, only 500 remain. Many were saved by being given a new role as public schools. A call is now open for projects aiming to restore schools operating in former manor buildings.

The manor houses in Estonia are mostly from the 18th and 19th century and belonged to Polish, German and Russian nobility. During the Soviet times, the manor houses were taken over by the state and in many cases they decayed. Since 1991, many schools have been given a new role as public schools.

Today there are 59 schools and orphanages in old manor houses spread across Estonia, providing room and education for nearly 3,600 children. Some 66% of these buildings require restoration and upgrading to safeguard their future.

Under the EEA and Norway Grants over €4.5 million is allocated to safeguarding, conserving and making publicly accessible the cultural and natural heritage in Estonia.

This call will distribute €3.1 million to projects aiming to restore manor schools. Restoration of five manor schools in three Estonian counties is the planned result of the programme.The deadline for applications is 25 June 2013.

  • Find out more about the call for proposals for restoration of manor schools in Estonia here.


Cultural heritage entities in Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway with interest in participating in the restoration process can become partners in the projects. In this way the projects can be a platform for exchange and knowledge sharing between the cultural heritage sector in Estonia and in the donor states.
The programme is operated by the Estonian Ministry of Culture. The Norwegian Directorate for Cultural Heritage is involved in this programme as a donor programme partner. This means that the Directorate has taken part in developing the heritage programmes and works on the implementation of the programmes and takes an active part in bilateral activities such as partnership seminars and informing the donor states sector about the possibilities for becoming project partners in heritage projects under the grants.

Growth through protecting heritage

By supporting restoration of manor schools, the programme will contribute to economic development, creation of new jobs and social inclusion, as well as to a greater awareness about the importance of good heritage protection.

The EEA Grants support cultural heritage programmes in 14 beneficiary countries, aiming at conserving and revitalising cultural and natural heritage and improving public accessibility.