In the webinar “Synergy between Traditional Cultural Representatives and Cultural Creative Industries” organized by the European Union’s “Interreg Europe” program, the Old Town Street Quarter in Jelgava received high praise.
The Zemgale Planning Region is currently implementing the “CHERRY” project. One of its main tasks is to highlight good examples of cultural and creative industries collaborating with urban transformation, local development, and the enhancement of cultural and natural values in each project partner’s represented country or region. When evaluating potential local best practices to present to project partners, experts recognized the Old Town Street Quarter in Jelgava as one of the most visible examples within the working group of involved parties.
Although each project partner will publicly present their examples only at the end of February, the Jelgava tourism attraction is already highly praised. Specifically, representatives of the program approached the lead partner of the “CHERRY” project shortly before a year ago, inviting them to participate in an international experience exchange event. To provide listeners with a broader perspective on cultural and creative industries in project partner territories, the partner recommended contacting the Zemgale Planning Region with a request to present the Old Town Street Quarter. Upon receiving the invitation, the planning region’s team approached the Jelgava Regional Tourism Centre to share the story of how Jelgava succeeded in implementing such an ambitious and unique project.
Webinar participants listened to three presentations – the Italian example of the Veneto region, experiencing a revival and implementing various projects related to culture and creative industries to strengthen the region. Spain was represented by a story about the restoration of the Santamarijas Canton Cathedral, which has now also gained cultural space status. The third story was the revival of the Jelgava Old Town Street Quarter, the oldest part of this city’s development with wooden buildings that were not destroyed during World War II. The quarter has already gained the appreciation of local residents and tourists, providing more and more enthusiasts with the opportunity to explore not only the pages of history but also the restoration processes and traditional crafts (weaving, ceramics).
The example of Jelgava is considered a valuable experience in promoting cultural and urban renewal. Such an invitation to present their story is seen as a great honour and is another testament to how, with the support of European Union funds, it is possible to improve the environment and develop various areas.
The Interreg Europe program for interregional cooperation is designed to enhance collaboration management to improve the institutional capacities of state administration institutions and related parties to manage specific territories and implement territorial development strategies. Latvia is also participating in this program by implementing various projects in various represented sectors. The program’s territory includes all European Union member states, Norway, and Switzerland.
The “CHERRY” project is being implemented in the Interreg Europe 2021–2027 program. Its goal is to improve regional development policy documents in the project-participating partner countries’ regions, stimulate the recovery of the creative sector after the Covid-19 crisis, and promote the development of cultural and creative industries in the region, contributing to economic development and increasing EU competitiveness. The total budget of the project is 1,939,948 euros, including ERDF funding of 1,551,958.40 euros and ZPR budget of 172,792 euros. More about the project HERE.