CZK 2.8 billion from NPO to go to brownfields, projects to be greener and faster

by   CIJ News iDesk III
2022-12-20   14:02

Almost CZK 3 billion should help the restoration of neglected and unused real estate, such as former industrial sites. The State Fund for Investment Promotion (SFPI) wants to allocate European money from the National Regeneration Plan (NRP) in a new Brownfields subsidy programme. The money must be spent quickly by mid-2026 under stricter "green" criteria, announced SFPI director Hana Pejpalová. The programme will be approved by the government in a regulation on Wednesday.

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. A new subsidy of CZK 2.8 billion will go to brownfields from the European Revival and Resilience Facility, which is implemented in the Czech Republic through the NPO, with CZK 2 billion for 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 conditions of the NPOs were being communicated. We therefore 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 Pejpalová.

The Ministry for Regional Development (MMR) has been communicating with potential applicants for almost a year. They have identified projects that could apply, the SFPI director said. There are to 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 legal entities, 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: SFPI and CTK