The large flow of EU funds received by Poland after 2007 allowed for significant development in the field of cultural infrastructure. Over these years we implemented a number of large and important investments strategic for the protection of the national heritage of the country. Most of these investments were carried out with aid from the Cohesion Fund, mainly through the Operational Programme "Infrastructure and Environment 2007-2013".
The new perspective for 2014-2020 provides the possibility to finance such investments, both from the record-breaking national program and regional measures. The grant will most benefit local government units (municipalities, poviats, voivodeships) and entities providing public services as part of their duties of local government units. Depending on the type of investment, funds are allocated to other entities - including companies that operate in the above mentioned areas (e.g. cultural centres, etc.).
In terms of infrastructure related to the protection of cultural heritage, it is possible to acquire financing for investments providing for:
- conservation, restoration and construction works at historic sites and areas and groups of these objects and their surrounding;
- expansion, reconstruction and repair of non-historic infrastructure for the purposes of cultural activities, art education and archives;
- purchase of durable equipment for conducting cultural activities, including art education and the implementation of conservation works;
- modernization of permanent exhibitions;
- protection and preservation of historic gardens and parks;
- conservation of movable monuments and historic exhibits, antique books, libraries, library materials, archives and audiovisual collections (including films) and their protection and making them available through the process of digitization (digitization only as part of the project);
- protection of objects against theft and damage (only as part of the project);
- expansion, reconstruction and renovation of premises or facilities intended for the exhibition storage facilities.
Special support is extended to projects related to sites listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List or recognized by the President as Historic Monuments and located in the areas listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List and located in areas recognized by the President as Historic Monuments. At the same time, aid may not be provided for building new cultural infrastructure from scratch.
Also the implementation of projects for the development of cultural resources as places of presentation of cultural heritage is envisaged, including through improved standards of functioning of cultural institutions, performing the culture creation role and the role of cultural centres in many Polish cities. Aid is also granted for modern solutions in the field of access to culture.
Subsidies cover projects regarding small-scale infrastructure, for which the maximum value is EUR 5 million of the total cost; in the case of projects concerning cultural heritage on the list of UNESCO, this threshold is EUR 10 million. The implementation of integrated actions combining several elements of small scale infrastructure and complementary activities in the field of productive investment (e.g. regarding cultural and creative industries realized by SMEs, promoting innovative solutions for the preservation of cultural heritage) is possible.
The catalogue of costs eligible for the grant varies depending on the type of project, but in principle includes any capital expenditure necessary for the implementation of the project, such as:
- project preparation costs (e.g. feasibility study, environmental impact report, technical documentation, financial and economic analyses, studies and expert opinions);
- purchase of real estate necessary for the implementation of the project;
- the cost of acquisition of fixed assets and intangible assets;
- construction and civil engineering, installation, supervision over the implementation of investments;
- tests and expert opinions, costs of financial services and security; investment in auxiliary infrastructure.
The level of support for public entities usually reaches up to 80-85% of the total investment!