The project has been awarded funding from the European Economic Area Financial Mechanism for the years 2014-2021, Hrubieszów having received over EUR 3,500,000 pursuant to a so-called Norway Grants Programme.
The path to funds acquisition was far from easy. The first stage involved the vast number of 213 cities and towns (of 255 eligible municipalities) filing “Local Development” Programme project summaries, 54 cities and towns approved for the second stage which in turn comprised several months of hard work on full project proposals.
The town applied for EUR 10 million. Ultimately, the Ministry having expanded the list of beneficiaries from the initial 15 to 29, it was awarded EUR 3,521,346 (PLN 15,328,498.86), 100% of eligible costs covered. The Project Funding Agreement was signed on 21 December 2021.
The project comprises 2 main goals, i.e. the Local Development Plan and Institutional Development Plan.
Pursuant to fundamental Local Development Plan objectives, the town will reach a sustainable public-and-economic development stage i.a. through activities targeting a municipal economy boost. Conversely, under the Institutional Development Plan, effective, competent, and development-oriented municipal administrative structures will be developed, translating in turn into i.a. efficient strategic municipal governance and high-quality public services.
Hrubieszów intends to use the project to improve local quality of life by taking action in four areas: natural environment, public affairs, economy, and culture.
The project comprises a number of investment activities, primarily regarding the renovation of a historic 19th-century tenement house at Plac Wolności No. 8, childhood home to world-famous professional poker player and co-creator of “Transformers” toys Henry Orenstein. The building will house a Creative Centre for Education and Economic Co-operation, described in greater detail below.
Other project activities include the development of a Transportation and Communication Centre, i.a. a transit terminus in Hrubieszów for public (local and long-distance) transport passengers.
Investment plans comprise the renovation of a historic 19th-century manor at Staszica No. 9 to accommodate a Day Activity Centre for Senior Citizens.
The Creative Centre for Education and Economic Co-operation, a new budgetary unit in the town’s municipal structures, has been developed already. The Centre is one of the most important project endeavours, key to the town reaching the sustainable public-and-economic development stage. Its fundamental purpose is that of providing conditions for local business development, and offering children and young people opportunities to develop innovative competencies in the field of state-of-the-art technologies, programming and robotics in particular.
Essential project aspects involve the option to enter a partnership with a Norwegian municipality. Owing to Association of Polish Cities efforts, Elverum in south-eastern Norway was selected as a Partner Municipality. The collaboration scheme provides for experience exchange, especially in areas of economic development, improvements to the quality of local life, and bettered municipal administrative services.