On 16 November, a conference was held to launch the project “In the shadow of Szarlota [1] ‒ how to bring out the potential of Rydułtowy town”, which received a Norwegian grant from the “Local Development” programme.

During the meeting, City Hall officials and the project’s partners talked about selected initiatives that are included in the project’s Local Development Plan and Action Plan.

The selected initiatives were the ones perceived as most important – events, initiatives and investments with a particular impact on the development of Rydułtowy. The purpose of the conference was to present and describe what is going to happen in the city under the project in the next few years.

Presentations were given on areas such as the broadly defined reactivation of Ofiar Terroru Street, some of the most important investments – construction of Nowa Street or repurposing of Leon III shaft. The partners – Pszowskie Stowarzyszenie Strzeleckie KALIBER (KALIBER Shooting Association in Pszów) and Centrum Rozwoju Inicjatyw Społecznych CRIS (CRIS Centre for the Development of Social Initiatives) – talked about operation of the Sports Shooting Range and the establishment of the Civic Centre as well as the Entrepreneurship Support Centre.

An idea for an outdoor game was proposed, as well as some extremely important social issues such as telecare and envelopes of life, or preparation of a document “Elimination of Barriers – towards Accessibility”. A national partnership was also presented, indicating areas of cooperation with the cities of Rybnik, Racibórz and Wodzisław Śląski, and finally, potential partner city from Norway – Øvre Eiker.

“The Local Development Plan and the Action Plan are currently considered fundamental strategic documents for Rydułtowy. They outline the development path for the town over the next 10 years. Since both plans have been subject to extensive public consultations, it is assumed that their implementation is going to fulfill the basic and most essential needs of the town's residents,” says Marcin Połomski, Mayor of Rydułtowy.

The day after the kick-off conference, a meeting was held at the City Hall between the city officials and representatives of the Association of Polish Cities – Lucyna Maury, Danuta Wesołowska and Janusz Szewczuk – strategic advisor. The topic of the meeting was the Association’s advisory support for the cities-finalists of the 3rd stage of the “Local Development” project.

The employees implementing individual initiatives within the project “In the shadow of Szarlota – how to bring out the potential of Rydułtowy town” had the opportunity to indicate areas in which the Association’s support would be extremely important and helpful. In the near future, not only regular meetings with advisors are planned, but also workshops and training conducted by experts in many thematic areas.

“The Local Development Programme plays a huge role in the city’s transformation process. The completed project proposal has been recognised (by a Resolution of the City Council) as a binding strategic document. Some of the activities will be implemented by the city with the help of the EEA funds, but we have already learned about the opportunities to implement activities from the supplementary list, thanks to funds obtained from other sources,” emphasises Lucyna Maury, advisor to the city (Association of Polish Cities).

“It is worth mentioning that Rydułtowy is a mining town. In this context, the planned activities related to the development of entrepreneurship and civic attitudes seem to be particularly important,” adds Lucyna Maury.

Rydułtowy is one of the cities in the Silesian Voivodeship and one of 29 cities in Poland that have been granted funds from the “Local Development” programme financed by the Norway Funds and the EEA. This is the first project of this kind implemented in Rydułtowy. City budget will receive over EUR 3.5 million and the money will be earmarked for implementation of the project “In the shadow of Szarlota – how to bring out the potential of Rydułtowy town”. The City Hall has been working on it since 2019.

[1] Waste heap in Rydułtowy – a heap of post-mining waste in Rydułtowy, Wodzisław County, Upper Silesia. It was created at the Rydułtowy mine. In 2007 it was given the name “Szarlota”. It is one of the highest waste heaps in Europe.