As the first phase of the MOMAr project is coming to an end, the partners from the countries participating in this program share their individual Action Plans that they prepared throughout the project. The Regional Development Agency of South Bohemia, the MOMAr partner organisation from the Czech Republic, is the second one to present its ambitious forthcoming actions that will benefit the rural areas of its territory.

To develop its Action Plan, the Regional Development Agency of South Bohemia took inspiration from experience and knowledge gained in the MOMAr project, especially through International Exchange of Experience conferences, good practice examples and study visits conducted in each partner country.

Creating a new point-of-interest

The Action Plan presents the action that the region wants to develop on the outskirts of České Budějovice, the regional capital of South Bohemia, with the main goal of creating a new point-of-interest for the public. The proposal will be submitted to the Integrated Operational Programme (IROP), a program designed for smaller and regional projects. The project will take place in a site called Orty, one of the only two underground china clay mines in the country that was originally opened in the second half of the 19th century and closed at the beginning of the 20th century. The site presents unique geological features and was declared an industrial and natural area of protection.

Unfortunately, the Orty site became rather forgotten so the Regional Authority of South Bohemia announced plans for opening the mines as a tourist attraction. The idea is to open these former china clay mines for the public, schools and even experts on mining and history by utilising modern and innovative models of heritage management with the help of experience from the MOMAr project. It will provide local citizens and visitors an opportunity to learn more about the local history in a modern way, create new jobs and allow the local economy to grow.

A project divided in several steps

Since it concerns a long-abandoned mining structure, protected area and natural place, a lot of legislative and technical studies need to be done before starting any physical works. The first step of this project will take place very soon and consists in ensuring the official adoption of the concept with all technical, legal, safety and environmental requirements. Once this project is approved for implementation, the physical works will start and they are currently expected for 2023, overshooting the end of the MOMAr project second phase.

For Zdeněk Klimeš, Head of the Department of Environment Protection, Agriculture and Forestry at the Regional Authority of South Bohemia, the department responsible for the implementation of the renovation and re-opening, “the implementation of the Action plan will provide the South Bohemia region with a new point-of-interest, utilising knowledge and experience gained within the MOMAr project. As such, it presents an important element in the field of interregional cooperation across Europe in South Bohemia”.