National Institute for Heritage
What is Innocastle?
Mostly located in rural and remote areas, historic castles, manors and estates (HCME) have the potential to stimulate rural and regional development and innovation. However, this requires a shift of paradigm in governance and support. By developing new policy instruments to unlock these assets, HCME could act as drivers for job creation, better education, improving life quality and reducing social inequalities. The partnership of Innocastle consists of four European regions, each addressing one policy instrument: The National Institute of Heritage in Romania, the Province of Gelderland in the Netherlands, University College Ghent in Belgium and the Provincial Government of Badajoz in Spain. National Trust from the UK will act as knowledge partner throughout the process and support all partners in remodeling their policies.
What does that mean in practice?
The partners will first compare the situations between the 5 countries and learn from each other. The process of improving the 4 policy instruments is divided in three activities:
1. A joint baseline survey on existing policies and practices. Read here about the methodology.
2. Study visits to each of the partner organisations, which will also include a themed seminar and opportunity for peer review. Read about the visits so far in Romania, Wales, Gelderland and Badajoz.
3. The development of regional action plans together with local actors to improve particular policy instruments, using the data collected.
INNOCASTLE seeks to demonstrate the importance of partnership in the sustainable revitalisation and future-proofing of heritage sites. It will alert policy makers to the need for effective funding to enable heritage sites to become self-sufficient. INNOCASTLE will also highlight our shared European identity. The project will use interregional cooperation to develop new policies for heritage across four partner regions (Gelderland, Extremadura, Flanders and Romania). Each has a different emphasis but each will work towards improving the long-term sustainable development of HCME through 4 specific objectives:
GOVERNANCE AND PARTNERSHIPS - Innocastle increases collaboration between all levels of governance (local, regional, national, European), between expert fields (heritage, tourism, leisure, landscape, nature) and between sectors (public, private, research and society) in order to help HCME to flourish.FINANCE AND INVESTMENTS - Innocastle generates know how on meaningful, integrated and durable transformation of HCME and sustainable business models. Available resources need to be used more efficiently.PROMOTION AND VISIBILITY - Innocastle develops know-how for local and regional actors to better promote and facilitate HCME through storytelling, cultural routes and product development.DISSEMINATION AND CONTINUATION - Innocastle opens a European-wide discussion about the current and future role of HCME in our society, as an important testimony of our shared European identity.