In 2015 our International Programme Project Manager, and World Heritage Site Project Manager attended the REDIAPRO partnership meeting in Vilnius hosted by our colleagues at the Fine Crafts Association Vilnius – Agne Zilinskaite and Indre Rutkauskaite.
The Edinburgh-Vilnius connection through heritage-led revitalisation already has a long history. In the mid 1990s, shortly after Lithuania regained its independence and the inscription of Vilnius on the World Heritage list, a group of international professionals supported the development of the Edinburgh Old Town Revitalisation Strategy in Vilnius. Amongst them were representatives of the Old Town Renewal Trust – one of our organisation’s predecessors. Since then Vilnius has developed solid foundations for heritage-led urban revitalisation using public-private partnerships.
The model has gradually developed, attracting private investment into dilapidated buildings and public spaces of the Old Town. It is quite easy to draw similarities with Edinburgh, from the 1970s onwards. OTRA’s grant system is quite similar to Edinburgh World Heritage’s Conservation Funding Programme along with Edinburgh World Heritage’s priorities of Routes, Risks, and Regeneration areas.
It provides homeowners with grant assistance for the repairs of roofs, facades, courtyards and balconies up to a level of 50% of eligible costs for street-facing exterior building repairs and up to 40% for the cost of repairs to courtyards and landscaping.