Revealing the Economic and Social Impacts of Cultural Heritage

Project facts

Project promoter
The Prime Minister’s Office, Deputy State Secreraty for Cultural Heritage
Project Number:
Target groups
Civil servants/Public administration staff,
Non governmental organisation
Initial project cost:
Final project cost:
From Norway Grants:
€ 718,819
The project is carried out in:

More information


The project aims at changing approaches, attitudes and practices in the management of CH in public and private bodies in national as well all local and regional contexts including civil society. Prepare and equip local rural communities to utilize their cultural heritage in a wise and sustainable way in order to reach and maintain the good state of conservation of CH assets and at the same time decrease social, gender and economic disparities and improve quality of life. Improve the competence and professional human resource capacities of public administration bodies via knowledge-transfer and experience exchange between Hungarian, Norwegian and other international partners. The main output is an “Impact Measurement Toolbox” and a "Heritage Management Manual", which includes practical recommendations for measuring social and economic impacts of CH investment projects on one hand and the management of CH sites with the involvement of the local community on the other. Another output will be a set of case study descriptions of test sites and our pilot project. Finally, a policy paper will be prepared with specific recommendations for politicians and local governments dealing with CH policy. These documents are going to be disseminated within the public administration through workshops, courses, on-line training and by sending the documents to civil servants involved in the management of cultural heritage. We expect the current approach to monument protection that places the emphasis on the scientific work of experts and the authorities to shift in the direction of involving the owners, the users and the communities around these sites, promoting a bottom-up approach. The project builds on Norwegian models and further develops Norwegian-Hungarian inter-institutional cooperation. There are two main circles of target groups can be identified: stakeholders on national level and local rural communities.

Summary of project results

Research has shown that in Hungary: - Built heritage significantly contributes to GDP and creates jobs - People want to live and work in historic areas and are willing to pay a higher price to do so - Engaging the local community and an integrated approach are key factors for the long-term success of heritage-led regeneration - Increased knowledge and awareness of the economic and social potentials of cultural heritage was delivered by elaboration of methodologies on cultural heritage protection The PO continuously supervised the project implementation via midterm project reports, on-site visits and close contact. Through the pilot project in the Nivegy-valley in upper lake Balaton a methodological guide was produced that will help similar communities prepare for the long-term protection and sustainable management of their built heritage. The goal of the pilot project was to revitalize a former parish building into a community centre through a wider community development approach. The revitalization concept of the derelict national monument has been formulated together with the local inhabitants through community planning. The new functions and the social enterprise linked to the building were designed during planning workshops with the active participation of experts, local entrepreneurs, civil organizations, mayors and inhabitants. This process was accompanied by a series of capacity building trainings, providing local stakeholders with all the necessary knowledge to sustain the building and their own businesses. The goal was to establish an entrepreneur community, who would actively take part in the operation and upkeep of the parish house.

Summary of bilateral results

Study tours were organized in Norway and Hungary as well with the following focus: - Issues of central relevance to the project and the cooperation between the partners + information on gender issues and life long learning: presentations and discusssions - Examples of asset creation based on cultural heritage: field visits - Norwegian cultural heritage protection and management system, good practices - Examples of asset creation based on cultural heritage: field visits -The bilateral partnership contributed to the followings: - the organization of international expert seminars in Hungary, Belgium and the Netherlands - the development of two methodological studies (about the economic and social impacts of cultural heritage and about community-lead local development) A national programm implemented by Riksantikvaren between 2006 and 2010 with the aim of using cultural resources to create economic and social assets 12 pilot projects with detailed case studies including impact assessment Results: 66 new enterprises and 16 non-profit organisations created, every NOK of public money spent created 2 NOK of private value The key to success: long-term co-operation between stakeholders with the project manager as mediator The Norwegian pilot projects were used as models for this pilot project.