BGN 3.1 billion from “Regions in Growth” 2014-2020 OP are available for application

BGN 3.1 billion from “Regions in Growth” 2014-2020 OP are available for application

16 Apr 2020 | 10:01

To date, the programme has renovated 120 schools, 13 universities, has modernised more than 1.8 million square meters of urban space

The entire financial resource of the Operational Programme “Regions in Growth” 2014-2020 (OPRG) managed by the Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works is now open for applications. Thus, the beneficiaries of the EU programme will have access to BGN 3.1 billion for projects under 23 procedures and schemes for achieving balanced and sustainable development of the regions.

At the moment, 616 contracts worth BGN 2.685 billion have been concluded under the OPRG. More than BGN 1.6 billion have been paid for completed projects, of which BGN 47 million have been transferred during the state of emergency, which has been in force since March 13.

The largest percentage of EU funds to date are invested in the renovation and modernisation of major Bulgarian cities, for which a total of 165 contracts have been concluded. Investments in the renovation of parks, alleys, construction of pedestrian spaces and streets, integrated public transport, repair of educational, social and cultural infrastructure, including theaters, museums, galleries, etc., amount to over BGN 1.376 billion. Cities have already introduced energy efficiency measures in 71 public buildings, more than 1.8 million square meters of urban space have been modernised, and the improved public transport lines exceed 30 km.

In the 28 smaller settlements that are beneficiaries of the OP “Regions in Growth” 2014-2020, 202 projects worth a total of BGN 185 million are being implemented. They aim to increase energy efficiency in public, administrative and residential buildings, and currently 432 buildings have been renovated.

Among the main priorities of the programme are investments in educational infrastructure, for the modernisation of which BGN 470 million have been invested so far. 120 general and vocational schools, sports and cultural schools of national and regional importance, with more than 68,000 students, have already been renovated. 13 higher education institutions have also been renovated.

With the last amendment of the OPRG from March 2020, in connection with the state of emergency, BGN 40.4 million have been allocated under the newly established procedure “Fight against COVID 19”, with a beneficiary the Ministry of Health. The first funds have already been transferred. Under the emergency support project, 152 out of a total of 400 modern ambulances have already been delivered. Helicopters for medical care are also to be purchased.

Over BGN 152 million are the funds provided for projects for preservation, protection and promotion of the cultural heritage of national and world importance in Bulgaria. The projects are funded with financial instruments or in combination with grants. The funds are directed to the Ministry of Culture, municipalities, religious institutions and their local branches that are legal entities.

The programme also invests nearly BGN 82 million to support the deinstitutionalisation of childcare and social services for the elderly and for people with disabilities by repairing and improving the necessary infrastructure.

To date, 29 contracts worth BGN 376 million have been concluded for improving the connectivity and accessibility to the TEN-T network through construction, reconstruction and rehabilitation of first-class, second-class and third-class roads, as well as for improving traffic safety.

Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works