Czech state to provide CZK 2.8 billion for brownfields redevelopment, government approves

by   CIJ News iDesk III
2022-12-22   11:05

The state will provide CZK 2.8 billion for the restoration of neglected and unused real estate, such as former industrial sites. The government today approved a new subsidy programme, Brownfields, through which the State Fund for Investment Promotion (SFPI) wants to distribute European money from the National Recovery Plan (NRP). This follows from the results of yesterday's government meeting. The money will have to be spent by mid-2026 under stricter "green" criteria, according to the fund.

The SFPI offers a combination of a loan and a subsidy of between CZK 400,000 and CZK 50 million for the revitalisation of brownfields from the state, up to a maximum of half of the total cost. The new European Recovery and Resilience Facility, which is implemented in the Czech Republic through the NPOs, will provide CZK 2.8 billion in subsidies for brownfields, of which CZK 2 billion will go to projects between CZK 30 million and CZK 500 million.

"There is not much time. The funds have to be spent by mid-2026, which means that the projects have to be implemented by the end of 2025. The preparation of the programme was long because the terms of the NPOs were agreed. Therefore, we want to conclude the contracts as soon as possible next year. The aim is to shorten the administration as much as possible to allow time for implementation," said SFPI director Hana Pejpalová.

The Ministry for Regional Development (MMR) has been communicating with potential applicants for almost a year. Projects that could apply have been identified, the SFPI director said. There should be about 45 small projects up to CZK 30 million and 14 large ones, one from each region. "The Regional Standing Conference (RSC) will eventually determine the order of projects if there are many," Pejpalova said.

The use of the grants is similar to the existing programme. Recipients are counties, municipalities and now corporations, but it is a non-business use. Pejpalová pointed out that there will be stricter criteria. According to the European Commission, construction work should not significantly damage the environment, and in the case of renovations, the costs must be directed towards energy-efficient renovations. For building renovations, the applicant must prove that 90 percent of the costs will meet the requirements.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MIT) has selected 35 projects for brownfields in its call for proposals this year for a total of CZK 200 million for both business and non-business purposes. According to the plan, up to CZK 500 million can be distributed among cities, towns, municipalities and regions for the renovation of neglected buildings and sites for business purposes owned by municipalities and regions.

The National Recovery Plan is the basis for drawing money from an emergency fund created by the EU to help member states recover economically from the covid-19 pandemic. The NPO is divided into six main areas, namely digital transformation, infrastructure and the so-called green transformation, education and the labour market, business support after the pandemic, development and innovation, and health prevention. Support from the NPO can be drawn up until 2026 at the latest.

Source: CTK