Record Number of Applications for Brownfield Development Projects In Czech Municipalities
35 projects from all over the Czech Republic are applying for funding under the Brownfields Regeneration for Business Use programme. Photo credit: Freepik.
Czech Republic, Oct. 7 (BD) – Cities and municipalities are showing growing interest in subsidies for brownfield regeneration. A record number of projects have applied to the Ministry of Industry and Trade programme. A total of 35 projects have been accepted, about four times more than in the last call of the previous programme. Multifunctional projects and the construction of council housing are also now eligible for support. A total of CZK 500 million is available.
Under the program, the Ministry of Industry and Trade will redistribute funds from the National Recovery Plan, which is European money intended for the recovery of European economies after the coronavirus pandemic.
“This year, for the first time, we will also support so-called mixed projects,” said Zbyněk Pokorný, director of the Department of Brownfields and Innovative Business Development at the Ministry of Industry and Trade. “An example of such a project could be the renovation of a building, during which retail or other service facilities are placed on the ground floor and a library run by the municipality on the second floor. These types of projects have not yet been supported by any existing Ministry of Industry and Trade or Ministry of Regional Development programmes. We have thus listened to the pleas of mayors who have long been calling for multifunctional regenerated brownfields.”
“Last year alone, we consulted more than 60 potential public brownfield regeneration projects with a total investment value of over CZK 30 billion during the regional consultations. It turns out that the interest significantly exceeds the possibilities of our support, and points to the need for an increase in the future,” said David Petr, Director of the Business Localisation Department of the CzechInvest agency, which is assisting municipalities with the preparation of projects. Among the projects submitted, the most common are plans to convert brownfield sites into offices for local entrepreneurs and tradesmen, coworking spaces, service facilities, restaurants, cafés, community halls, or municipal housing.
“Reconstruction projects predominate among the projects, while one third of the plans envisage demolition and construction of new energy-efficient buildings,” said Jan Hana, head of the brownfields department of the Ministry of Industry and Trade. “This is new, as this type of project has not been supported before. Municipalities and towns from all over the Czech Republic, including Prague, can also now apply, not just from coal-producing and economically troubled regions, as was the case in the past. The largest number of project plans, six, were received from the Vysočina Region.”
The ministry must take energy savings and the use of renewable energy sources into account when selecting projects, which is more important than ever due to the energy crisis. Renovation projects must also demonstrate primary energy savings from non-renewable sources of at least 30%. The difference in the amount of energy used by the new operation and the reference building shows how much money was saved.