New Theme Village Business Development Opportunities in Latgale and Aukstaitija Cross Border Region, acronym VILLAGE HERITAGE

Programme: The Latvia–Lithuania Cross Border Cooperation Programme 2007-2013 (2nd Call)

Project title: New Theme Village Business Development Opportunities in Latgale and Aukstaitija Cross Border Region, acronym VILLAGE HERITAGE

Lead partner: Ignalina Nuclear Power Plan Regional Development Agency (Lithuania)

Project partner: Latgale Planning Region (Latvia)

The target groups of the project:

  1. Direct target group of the Project is village people who live in 20 borderland villages as well as 40 most active inhabitants from these villages who are potential business start-ups in their villages; Village facilitators, local business and tourism information service providers who will be involved in sustaining of project results after the project implementation (50 people)
  2. Potential visitors of theme villages – local, from other districts and abroad (tourists and those who are interested in culinary heritage, crafts, children groups from schools, larger businesses).
  3. Involved representatives of project partners who help to manage and coordinate the project activities.

The overall objective of the project: to promote business and labour market development at the local cross-border level by fostering economic potential of villages to develop competitive products and joint marketing based on traditional economic values and a unique Theme Village concept.

Specific aims:

  1. to stimulate small business development in the villages through support and encouragement of villagers to make business targeted at tourism and other economy sectors;
  2. to ensure business skill and capacity building of the villagers;
  3. to support creation of self-sustaining cross border network of Theme Villages in Latgale and Aukstaitija.

Project period: 24 months

Project activities and results: according to the Programme regulations project activities are divided into 4 thematic work packages (WP).
WP I – Management and Coordination (Compulsory):
Steering committee – 4 meetings, Project work group – 8 meetings (8 project reports and 4 progress reports, information on 3 websites
WP II – Support to Theme Village Facilitators:

  1. Training programmes elaborated “Training of Village Facilitators” (24 hours), “Marketing for Village Business” (16 hours), «Marketing for New Business” (24 hours),”Procedures and Support” (8 hours)
  2. “Training Manual” prepared and publicized based on prepared training materials
  3. Workshop “Village Heritage” (LV and LT) (40 persons)
  4. Participation in 4 business fairs (LV and LT) with 26 small business ideas (60 participants)

WP III Theme Village Development and Networking:

  1. Training module «Procedures and Support” organized (individual village training, 60 people trained, LV-LT)
  2. 2 study trip from LV – LT (40 people from theme villages), 4 full days
  3. “Theme Village Forum” to popularize the Theme Village experiences (200 participants)
  4. Theme Groups (8) conducted by LV-LT joint
  5. Theme Village network for small business cooperation created
  6. Joint study trip to Varena and theme villages in Poland (40 persons from 20 villages, 5 days)
  7. Guidelines for joint evaluation and self-evaluation of Theme Village process developed, tested

WP IV Theme Village Small Business Development:

  1. Stands and kiosks ensured for 20 villages to popularize village businesses
  2. Theme Village brochures and marketing campaign
  3. 600 direct consultations by village facilitators ensured for 20 villages to help in creation of business
  4. 600 consultations on marketing ensured for 20 villages in order to sell their production better and 200 consultations on elaboration of “village branding” for better identification, 200 consultations on business registration, certification, taxes etc.
  5. Joint Theme Village marketing strategy elaborated for all 20 villages in order to work together and support each other also after the project implementation

Project status: on 30.04.2009. submitted for evaluation
Contact information: Inese Kursīte, phone: +371 654 28111,

„Tematiskie ciemi: jaunas iespējas uzņēmējdarbības attīstībai Latgales un Aukštaitijas pārrobežu reģionā”, akronīms VILLAGE HERITAGE