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How to reconvert an old industrial park into a social centre in a small village

In the first decades of the XX Century, the Lake Copais company built an industrial park in the small village of Orchomène in Greece. Around fifty years later, this complex was empty and it was no longer used with the industrial purpose it had been designed for.

 Nowadays, thanks to the European Union’s funding opportunities for regional companies in Greece (ERDF), the buildings were restored, furnished, some brand new technology equipment was bought and the surroundings were reconverted into a green and friendly space for visitors. As a result, the old empty industrial park became a conference centre that provides different services to the small village of Orchomène and to the whole municipality of Viotia.

 Currently, this centre is used to hold many different activities such as conferences, art exhibitions and adults and second chance training courses. In addition, this initiative is considered as a crucial chance to face unemployment in the region because many skill improving free courses take place in this complex and because the creation of this centre itself has created around 100 jobs for the people in the community.

Zannias Giorgos, president of the youth council, notes other benefits than the restoration of the industrial park into a social centre for young people “The conference centre was something that was missing not only from our municipality, but from the extended area around Orchomenos itself. In the short time that it has been in operation, it has already contributed substantially. One such example is with the conference organised with the national youth council to raise awareness among young people about environmental issues.”

This project highlights not only the importance of sustainability but also the value of restoration linked to social cohesion and development at regional level.

 For more information, please click here

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9 June 2015

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