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Datenbank der Projekte zur ländlichen Entwicklung

Improving quality of life for rural residents of Svilengrad in Bulgaria


A 'village renewal' type project improving external living space through environmental works and new recreation facilities for young people. The project aimed to make the rural community a more attractive place to live, work and visit.


Svilengrad is situated in Southeast Bulgaria near the borders with Turkey and Greece. The municipality has around 22,815 inhabitants. Summer months here are hot and dry and the local park was the only “green” area used for recreation during summer months. Other parks in the local area were not maintained for more than 15 years. They were invaded by scrubs and bushes and were avoided by the local population. The project, initiated by young people, focused on rehabilitation of 4 green areas.


The main objective of the project was to rehabilitate 4 green areas in Svilengrad and to make the city more attractive for younger people. This project supports the Rural Development Programme's efforts to tackle the pressures which fuel out-migration, brain-drains and depopulation in rural areas. The project forms part of €3 million municipal initiative that includes reconstruction and renovation of the local library and sports facilities.

Main activities

Rural Development Programme funds were used to: rehabilitate 4 green areas in Svilengrad; plant trees and bushes (suitable for the climate conditions in the area); create open places for children’s games; create paths and walking areas; and install an automatic system for irrigation of the newly planted trees, bushes and flowers.

Results & Benefits

This project was the municipality's first project that was successfully implemented with Rural Development Programme support. Results have helped to improve living conditions and overall quality of life for residents in the project area. These outputs are helping to dissuade young people from leaving the local area in search of better living conditions.

Lessons learnt

The main lesson learnt refers to the role that Rural Development Programme support can provide in tackling rural depopulation pressures. Another useful lesson learnt from the project relates to the consultation that occurred with young people about their priorities for this project. Involving young people in decision-making processes for rural development projects helps to empower them and leads to results that are relevant for the target groups.

Project location and other information

Svilengrad, Hskovo district, Bulgaria



RDP Territory


Total project cost (€)

474 320

EAFRD contribution (€)

379 456

National contribution (€)

94 864

Contact name

Milena Yaneva


+359 379 7 43 31

Languages for contact

English, Bulgarian

At a glance



Final beneficiary type

Public/local authorities

Budget range

€100 000 - €500 000

Start date:


End Date:


Theme / Measure:

• Rural Quality of Life & Economic Diversification
• Improving quality of life in rural areas
• 322. Village renewal and development


Recreation area, Local authority, Village facilities, Village renewal, Young people

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