Żary, Jarocin and Konin were the first of all towns and cities to sign agreements for European Economic Area and Norway Financial Mechanism funding under the “Local Government” programme, related advisory services provided by the APC.

Each of the “Local Development” Programme participant cities and towns will receive over EUR 3.5 million in funds facilitating an accelerated growth path. The Ministry of Development Funds and Regional Policy has already signed the first funding agreements with Żary, Jarocin and Konin.

The “Local Development” Programme offers comprehensive support for small and medium-sized city and town development. It is intended to foster social and economic cohesion by improving environmental and entrepreneurship quality, advancing public administration effectiveness, and raising living standards for residents of small and medium-sized cities and towns.

Submitted projects will most certainly improve the comfort of life for all local residents. On 9 July 2021, the Ministry of Development Funds and Regional Policy selected 29 victorious Programme participants.

Konin – This Is Where Energy Flows

Konin’s project “Urban Energy Generator as a Source of Konin’s Success” targets i.a. the implementation of a New Development Path: the Green City of Energy. Konin stands a chance of becoming a prosperous renewable energy centre, and a better place for local residents to live and grow.

The primary New Development Path objective involves energy and economic transformation: renewable energy development, hydrogen and geothermal water resources included. The other development vector addresses a healthy equilibrium: offering the city a new, ecology-supporting quality and image. The third goal is about triggering human energy – activating the residents of Konin by releasing their creativity and entrepreneurship.

Jarocin – “Town of Tomorrow”

Primary project realisation areas include:

  • EcoRock Town – aspiring to environmental balance,
  • Local Community of Avant-garde Activities – collaboration and creative development for a modern and conscious society,
  • Jarocin Business Development – developing conditions conducive to economic and educational innovation.

The town intends to improve the quality of its natural environment, enhance local life attractiveness, and introduce principles of sustainable development. The project has been structured to help build a civic society, improve local bonds and identities, and produce accessible and resident-friendly space.

“Żary, Here Is Where I Want to Live!!!”

The project targets the elimination of local problems and development obstacles. Once completed, it will counteract unfavourable socio-economic tendencies and the process of thwarting local urban functionalities. Action taken by the town will become a source of a positive socio-demographic, economic, environmental, financial, spatial and cultural development impulse.

Project delivery outcomes will include the following:

  • Improved activity and creativity levels in the local community,
  • Implementation of the Żary concept as a “green-blue” town,
  • Sustainable economic development,
  • Spatial policy development,
  • Altered institutional image of local government units in Żary.

The Norwegian Financial Mechanism and European Economic Area Financial Mechanism (so-called EEA and Norway Grants) are a form of non-reimbursable foreign assistance awarded by Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein to over a dozen Central and South European and Baltic States.

Funds assisting Polish urban development have been released from a special-purpose pool of funding awarded by Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein to over a dozen Central and South European and Baltic States. In exchange, all three countries, while not European Union member states, have been granted access to the EU’s internal market.

The “Local Development” Programme agreement stipulates an amount of EUR 117.6 million, 15 percent of which (EUR 17.6 million) in domestic contribution payments.