/ Case-study projects

Valmiera county manor network, in Valmiera County, Latvia

The Valmiera country manor network project is developed by Valmiermuiža Cultural Society (Valmieras novada muižu tīkls) and addresses place-based issues such as, limited employment possibilities in rural areas, lack of recognition of Valmiera County as a cultural tourism destination on national and international level, limited opportunities to experience contemporary arts and culture, need for more opportunities for co-creation and creative lifelong learning in local communities, involvement of local unique heritage in tourism offer and rare use of artistic and design solutions in public space to make an attractive neighbourhood. The project covers the thematic strands of activating communities; and intra-sectoral collaboration and sustainability.

The creation of a network of manors is a self-created concept, including the ideas and desire to cooperate of the enthusiasts, employees, owners and active residents of Valmiera region manors, castles and cultural heritage objects. Together, they have identified the interests, needs, necessary assistance, problems and opportunities for cooperation of the involved parties in order to develop a functional network in the long term. For network members, it will be a tool and support for solving problems, challenges, improving missing knowledge and skills. The network of manors will be created for leisurely enjoyment of culture and nature, stimulating the interaction of history and modernity. By developing the functionality and usability of historical buildings, the creation of new jobs in the rural region will be promoted. Publicity activities of the network of manors and creation of a regular tourism and cultural offer will promote national and international visibility not only for the network, but for Valmiera county as a tourist destination. By learning and developing the interests, focus and planned cultural offer of each member of the manor network, both the traditional practices will be balanced and the contemporary art and culture offer in the region will be updated. Regular networking will contribute to the development of opportunities for co-creation and creative lifelong learning in the community.

In terms of potential transformative effect of the project, manor complexes are important cultural-historical architectural evidence that do not appear in other areas of construction within the county. Since the historic manor centres have lost their original function, they are an important place of economic activity to which the entire surrounding road system also leads, so it is essential to find new functions for the manor complexes and to bring the same high-quality innovations of modern life as it was in the times of manor management. Manor complexes, which have strong and long-lasting values, can become providers of culture and social life in the Valmiera region.

As for the innovation potential of the project, the owners, managers and enthusiasts of the cultural heritage of Valmiera region do not have a single platform for exchanging information and solving current issues, so the idea of the manor network is an innovation in the region to unite, promote cooperation, share experience and develop historical heritage. It is important that the network will include both the private sector, individuals, non-governmental organisations and the municipality. To strengthen and advance a common network of manors in Valmiera region in order to create a story that a manor is a place to gain knowledge and skills, realise long-term values, gain positive emotional pleasure, experience content and form, spiritual and physical harmony.


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