KYUSTENDIL HAS WON THE FIRST EUR270,000 BY PHARE
The cultural tourism project called Kyustendil - the Crossroad of 8,000 Years of History and Culture, moved by the local municipality, received EUR270,000 under the European Union's PHARE programme. The money is earmarked for restoration works in Pautalia, the thermal baths ruins in Hisarluka, the medieval church, etc., and for completing the infrastructure of the historical sites. Another 18 projects from Varna, Malko Tirnovo, Rousse, Dryanovo, Tirgovishte, Sozopol, Kovachevitsa, Kurdjali, Haskovo, Svishtov, Dobrich, Assenovgrad, Gabrovo, Razgrad, Pomorie, Ilientsii, etc., developed by local municipal teams, foundations and associations, will be financed by PHARE for similar activities.A total of EUR6.6MN will be invested in cultural tourism, EUR5MN of which will come from PHARE and EUR1.6MN as co-financing from the state budget. Depending on the character of the projects (a total of 300), each individual one will get at least EUR70MN, and EUR350,000 at the most. During the first stage of the contest the projects were considered by a special committee of representatives from the ministries of finance, of economy, of regional development and public works, and of culture. The approved ones passed to the second stage and will be coordinated by the European Commission in Bulgaria and then sent to Brussels. After approval in Belgium's capital a draft agreement is prepared and the last trial comes next - the signing of the contract. Nineteen projects were admitted to the final stage and Kyustendil's project was the first one to sign a contract. The others should do that by the year-end in order to get the agreed amounts of money (from EUR70,000 to EUR350,000) and begin utilizing them. It should be noted that the approved projects include a very rich spectrum of activities and sites of Bulgaria's cultural heritage - from Pagan and early Christian times, to the Middle Ages and the crafts in the Rennaisance period, to forms of the present life and customs - which could attract foreign visitors to this country.