The European Institute in Lodz is an example of cultural heritage preserved thanks to EU funds and currently being valorized through commercial activities.
The European Institute in Lodz was established in 1993 as a public foundation. Originally it specialized in European integration affairs and was the first institution dealing with EU issues in Eastern European countries.The Institute was a place of numerous international events with the particiption of key representatives of public administration and scientists. In 2010, the Institute hosted the President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso. The Institue as a monument consists of two historic buildings from the beginning of the 20th century.The main building is a villa built in 1910 for Robert Schweikert - the textile industry factory owner. At present there are located conference rooms and offices there. Modernization of the Institute was financed by EU funds. The Institute does not currently receive any regular state subsidy. It also cannot make its facilities available for tourist traffic. To find additional financing the Institute decided for space rental (the foundation's statute allows for commercial activities). The main stakeholders and beneficiaries are: the Institute itself, tenants, participants of trainings, filmmakers, students etc. The main ways to finance are: space rental for: offices, trainings, conferences, as well as for making feature films and TV ads. The building is used annually by students of the Lodz Film School (one of the oldest film schools in the world whose graduate is the film director Roman Polanski) to produce film etudes.
The Institute is a part of the Natolin European Center Foundation that helps in the optimization of personnel costs. Two people work permanently in the Institute itself (rental manager and administrative person). Other employees are external employees who deal with cleaning and security works.
Evidence of success
The area of premises available for rent increased by approx. 25%, and the number of events by approx. 30%. The collected funds allow for the maintenance of buildings and employees. Surpluses are invested in development and renovation. Staff costs have been optimized by incorporating the Institute into the Natolin Foundation. The European Institute, thanks to cooperation with the Lodz film school, supports the cultural heritage and artistic creation of the oldest film school in Poland.
Potential for learning or transfer
The appropriate ownership status of the organization (the European Institute is part of a public foundation that can obtain financial resources from commercial activities) offers opportunities for additional - commercial financing. In addition to savings in the number of staff employed, commercial operations are possible, e.g. renting space for offices, events, conferences, training. This is an interesting way of financing the protection of cultural heritage. This requires partial adaptation of the relevant rooms and is associated with costs. Depending on their specific situation and conditions, each organization should calculate for itself whether such investments will be profitable. It`s also important to have the qualified employees who will be able to use potential of the facility (e.g. a rental manager). An interesting form of obtaining extra funds is also renting the property for film production the more so as no financial resources are required to implement it.
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