Friday, February 17 2017 13:32
Marianna Mkrtchyan

Ambassador Switalski: EU grants EUR 1 million to promote culture and creative sectors in Shirak region

Ambassador Switalski: EU grants EUR 1 million to promote culture and  creative sectors in Shirak region

ArmInfo. Today in Gyumri,  the EU Ambassador to Armenia Piotr Antoni Switalski announced EUR 1  million Grant Scheme for Regional Development designed to promote  culture and creative sectors for the benefit of Armenian citizens in  Shirak region, the press office of the EU Delegation to Armenia  reports.

The Grant Scheme will help building capacity in project management  and funds management and directly support the development of the  Shirak region. It will contribute to raising the economic  competitiveness, creating jobs and reducing tendencies of outward  migration.

The EU Ambassador stated: "The Pilot Regional Development Project in  Shirak region is a strong tool, fostering culture as a catalyst for  sustainable social and economic development. When I say culture, I  mean more jobs in the creative and innovative sector.  By emphasizing  culture in the context of regional development of Armenia we mean  building cultural bridges by integrating human capital, innovation,  inclusion and infrastructures".

This is the second call for proposals under the Pilot Regional  Development Programme Grant Scheme (PRDP GS). Until now the PRDP GS  is the biggest regional development programme in Armenia, both in  terms of the available funds and the geographical coverage of the  programme. The overall objective of PRDP GS is to support the  Government of Armenia in progressing towards a more balanced social  and economic development between regions of Armenia via (1) creating   economic opportunities and diversify economies in the ten regions of  Armenia (support business climate, productive investments,  cooperation among companies, especially SMEs, and related  infrastructures), and (2) creating employment opportunities (provide  relevant skills and promote sustainable employment, specifically in  growth sectors, emerging and innovative sectors, especially among the  young adults) in the regions.  

The first call for proposals under the Pilot Regional Development  Programme Grant Scheme (PRDP GS) was published by the European Union  and the Ministry for Territorial Administration and Development  (MTAD) on 14 September 2015. At the end seven PRDP grant contracts  were signed with the EU and the Ministry of Territorial  Administration. The implementation of the projects started at the  beginning of 2017.

Now the second call for proposals is being launched which aims to  select 1 or 2 additional regional projects to be financed from the  remaining PRPD funds. Under this additional call for proposals,  project ideas for Shirak region in culture and creative sectors will  be invited. Jobs will be created and SMEs/enterprises registered in  Shirak region will benefit from assistance. However, eligible  organisations from all the regions can apply, if they find a suitable  regional partner from the target region.

The overall objective of PRDP GS is to support the Government of  Armenia in progressing towards a more balanced social and economic  development among regions of Armenia. The specific objectives of this  Call for Proposals are:  (1) to create employment opportunities in  Shirak region - provide relevant skills and promote sustainable  employment in culture and creative economy sectors, especially among  the young adults, and (2) to create economic opportunities and  diversify the economy of Shirak region - support business climate,  productive investments, cooperation among companies, especially SMEs,  and related infrastructure in the field of culture and creative  economy.

The available budget for this second call for proposals is almost 1  million EURO, of which 700.000 EURO is provided by the European  Union, 175.000 EURO is added by the Armenian Government, and minimum  10% co-financing has to be provided by the applicants themselves. The  overall budget of the project proposals (requested EU grant combined  with the national co-financing and the applicant's own co-financing)  must fall between the minimum amount of 486.000 EURO and maximum  amount of 1.400.000 EURO.  The selected projects should be  implemented within maximum 24 months.

The selection of the granted projects will be organized through a  two-step procedure. In the first round only a short document (so  called concept note) has to be submitted by the potential applicants.  The deadline for the submission of the concept notes is 24th of March  2017. The full project proposals will be elaborated only by the  short-listed candidates. The grant contracts with the selected  projects will be signed tentatively in September this year.  During  the whole application process the applicants will receive tailored  trainings and intensive consultations from the Technical Assistance  Team working under the EU funded programme "Support to Regional  Development in Armenia.  The programme and this grant scheme will not  only support development of the regions, will increase their economic  competitiveness and reduce migration trends, but it will also foster  development of Armenia's capacity to manage resources in the regions  and implement integrated development projects. 

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