An old red-brick building is refurbished as a private investment. It is then rented out for the city cultural services, a university unit, NGOs and enterprises.
The red-brick building known locally as ‘Kalevan navetta’ was built by the Kaleva Ltd in the 1890s. It was planned to work as a vast cowshed (‘navetta’), but no hoof ever entered the building that was soon sold forward. Yet the initial plan labelled the building. The building was a property of the Finnish Defence Forces 1933-2007. By 2010s, the surrounding industrial area was re-designed into a residential area in the city plan and ‘Kalevan navetta’ was protected as cultural heritage. Owned then by a large construction company, it was sold to a smaller investor profiling in refurbishing heritage buildings. The city was willing to find new premises for its cultural activities in the building and other parties, public and private, followed.
The practice is not exclusively ‘owned’ by the public body (city), because it builds on co-operation between multiple stakeholders. Yet public actor has an important role in the arrangement as the city cultural services stands out as the key tenant and major activities are moved there, incl. city cultural services administration, art hall and the centre for children’s culture.
The structure of the partnership is multilateral instead of hierarchical and needs coordination. Different parties work together on mid- to long term rental and service providing contracts and share tasks cross-border, e.g., between public bodies and NGOs. Local people have been engaged to the process and re-branding of the site through an EAFRD/LAG funded project.
The private investor has invested ca. 11M€ to the refurbishing of the site.
EAFRD/LAG funded project for user-centred design and engaging the community into the process: 47.000 €
The practice requires commitment, good communication and open dialogue from all parties involved in the partnership.
Evidence of success
Plans for regenerating ‘Kalevan navetta’ existed before but were realised only after achieving the MSP arrangement with the private investor and the city having key roles.
Thanks to multilateral co-op, the process has proceeded quickly: purchased in 2018, the opening of the renewed premises takes place in spring 2020.
The practice allows partners to renew their activities decisively. The regional field of arts and art services especially for children and the young rise to a whole new level.
Challenge is to find solutions for both private businesses to thrive, but also making accessible and affordable cultural services for the citizens that is the main purpose of public bodies. The coordination of the MSP arrangement requires continuity.
Potential for learning or transfer
‘Kalevan navetta’ is a valuable example of an MSP arrangement in the heritage sector in scarcely populated rural area. This kind of activity is more achievable than large, profit-led PPPs.
Key potential for learning lies in the joint efforts taken to turn the old building into a culture centre. This has entailed open communication and commitment to cross-border co-operation. Quintessentially, the private investor shares the values of the other stakeholders and is motivated by the objective to cherish local heritage.
It is essential to value joint activity and dialogue among the MSP while keeping record of the various contracts and agreements among the MSP. This can build into a permanent coordination task, which should be considered.
A similar MSP arrangement could be applied to a smaller heritage building. Still, the target should house an adequate number of actors. The public value and ownership of heritage and engaging locals in the regeneration activities must be considered.