Sofia: private and public funds for innovation in culture

culture for cities and regions
Sofia: private and public funds for innovation in culture

The Culture for Cities and Regions project is organising a three-day study visit to Sofia (19-22 April 2016) to explore how culture and cultural investment can influence social inclusion, social innovation and intercultural dialogue. The study visit will aim at facilitating peer-learning between 20 representatives of cities and regions from all over Europe.

This is the 10th of a total of 15 programmed study visits under the project.

More information on the previous study visits is available here:

Sofia is the capital of Bulgaria and the 13th largest city in the European Union. It is enjoying unprecedented growth of its economic infrastructure and it has become one of the fastest growing cities in Europe. The city ranks third in Europe in terms of start-ups, which reflects its flourishing entrepreneur spirit and vibrant development.  A Strategy for the Development of Culture in Sofia was designed in 2012 for the 2013-33 period. It focuses on access to culture, promoting cultural capital and heritage, boosting the creative economy and cultural participation, with a view to:

  • improving the city’s image in the European and global cultural fields.
  • facilitating access to funding and subsidies for the cultural and creative sectors.

A delegation of 10 European cities or regions will exchange on Sofia’s experience of funding culture. The participants come from Alytus (Lithuania), Banja Luka (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Belfast (Ireland), Bergen (Norway), Birmingham (UK), Budapest (Hungary), Folkestone (UK), Lincoln (UK), Nantes (France) and Silute (Lithuania).


They will be accompanied by Philippe Kern (founder and managing director of KEA) and Tom Fleming (director of Tom Fleming Creative Consultancy) who will share their hands-on experience of policies for culture, creative industries and innovation.

The programme deals with themes like:

  • Securing new resources for culture and creativity
  • Governance aspects and reforming municipal cultural institutions
  • Partnerships between public institutions and private companies
  • Local communities needs versus macroeconomic outcomes
  • Financial business support for young creatives

pavement sofiaThe full case study of Sofia is available at:



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