The representatives of Rēzekne Special Economic Zone Authority, Rēzekne and Krāslava Municipalities, Daugavpils City Municipality and Association “Euroregion “Country of Lakes”” visited Panevezys and Visaginas in Lithuania for a three-day study visit with the aim of gaining experience in brownfield development planning in other municipalities.
On the first day of the trip, Panevezys city administration planning specialists introduced the specialists with the biggest projects related to the development of the brownfields in the city. Using modern audiovisual materials representatives of Panevezys city showed already implemented, as well as in the nearest future planned area clean-up projects. The priority of Panevėžys Municipality is to preserve the natural values of the urban environment, to promote the attractiveness of these areas for visitors and to apply business development.
During the visit, such objects as the Skaistakalnis park - the former military aviation base and the glass studio "Glass Remis", the hotel "Romatika" - the former mill, the city art gallery, the city water treatment company and other objects to be developed were visited. Panevėžys City Municipality Project Manager Linas Blažyte revealed the biggest problem about this degraded area is that it belongs to the several private individuals, so the local government is not currently able to realize completely its plans related to this area.
Panevezys is a region that has discovered its potential for attracting foreign investors and attracting EU funding for infrastructure projects for business and tourism development in recent years. During the trip, the specialists visited the Panevėžys Special Economic Zone, which is one of the largest economic zones in Lithuania, and the most competitive one. Its main investors are Norwegian, German and French companies, which are currently operating in 19ha territory from the total 47ha area.
On the third day, the specialists visited Visaginas, the newest city in Lithuania to see the modern and creative projects, such as the renovation of the cultural centre in the former school, the rest area of Lake Visaginas, sports stadium and others. The "push" for urban and business development planning was the closure of a nuclear power plant that used to employ more than 5,000 inhabitants. Visaginas City Municipality Administrator Natālija Jakubovska introduced guests to one of the city's planned projects - a social-type house for people with special needs as well as lonely people who will be able to live a full life in this house, with the necessary support and help.
One of the latest business promotion in Visaginas is the Smart Park Industrial Park, which is being developed in the former military area of 9ha and will soon be handed over to the investor. Currently, a new office building, a parking lot and a driveway has been built in the territory, all engineering communications have been installed, the area is free from slums, waste and bushes, and it is planned to expand.
The 2nd study trip is planned to project partner territories in Latvia, focusing on exchanges of experiences and best practices in revitalisation of brownfields and visiting territories in Rēzekne, Krāslava and Daugavpils, also objects and territories of Rēzekne Special Economic Zone.
The total amount of funding allocated by the European regional development Fund is 442 296,58 euros. In turn, the total cost of the project is 520 348, 94 euros. The amount of funding under the project for the Rezekne municipality is 44 704,00 euros, of which equity financing of the European regional development Fund 37 998,40, and equity financing of the state budget in the Rezekne SEZ is, respectively, 3 788,02 and 6705,60 euros.
This publication has been prepared with financial support from the European Union. The content of the publication is entirely the responsibility of the joint municipal institution "Rēzekne SEZ Authority, and does not constitute an official position of the European Union.
INTERREG V-A Latvia-Lithuania Programme project LLI-386 „TRANS-FORM”
The project is implemented within the framework of Interreg Latvia - Lithuania Program.
Latvian-Lithuanian Cooperation Program website www.latlit.eu
Official website of the European Union: www.europa.eu