The Public Choice award for the European award RegioStars was awarded today in Brussels for the requalification project for the Vista Alegre site in Ílhavo, which sought to preserve the identity of that porcelain company founded in 1824.
The project had as an anchor the expansion and requalification of the Vista Alegre Museum, but this was only a first step in a more extensive requalification of the place of Vista Alegre, in Ílhavo, where the factory was founded.
With the support of European funds, the group invested € 44 million to “rejuvenate” the place by giving new life to the chapel and theater, modernizing the factory and converting the former factory palace into a five-star hotel.
The requalification of Vista Alegre was among the finalists of the RegioStars 2018 awards, an award with which the European Commission distinguishes innovative projects and good practices of regional development, supported by European funds.
The Fundão Business Center, which has created 500 skilled jobs after a technological attraction for that municipality in the district of Castelo Branco, also takes home the RegioStars prize in the category of support to the intelligent industrial transition.
The prizes will be delivered during the RegioStars Awards ceremony, taking place today, in Square, Brussels.
The other projects recognized with this award are: TeKiDe, from Finland, which creates new products through the recycling of textile fiber (category of transition to a low carbon economy); a social housing project in the city of Ostrava, Czech Republic (better access to public services); a labor and social integration program for refugees in the region of Murcia, Spain (response to the challenges of migration); conversion of the mining village of Nant Gwrtheyrn, Wales, into a cultural center (investment in cultural heritage).
The administrator of Vista Alegre, Paulo Soares, welcomed the award, considering that the Public Choice of RegioStars is linked to the image that the company has with the Portuguese.
“We are here today because the public has been very supportive of our candidacy. Identifying the project, what it brings and the Portuguese’s affection for the brand is fundamental for us to be here today,” Lusa told the agency. own re-qualification of the place of Vista Alegre represents the care that the group has “in preserving its DNA”.
Ana Abrunhosa, president of the Commission for Regional Coordination and Regional Development of the Center (CCDRC), stressed that Vista Alegre’s project “is absolutely different”, having managed not only to renovate “what was an industrial village”, but to ensure other dimensions in space, such as tourism or culture.
“It is a good reference for other projects. Vista Alegre went through difficulties and, with knowledge, innovation and creativity, knew how to rebuild itself,” he said.
Portugal was the country with the most projects among the 21 RegioStars finalists, with two from the North and two from the Center.
I3S and the Fundão Business and Shared Services Center competed in the category of support for the intelligent industrial transition, the Kastelo project in the area of better access to public services and the Vista Alegre Museum in the category of investment in cultural heritage.
Portugal was also represented in the international project ClimACT, a consortium of nine European institutions led by Instituto Superior Técnico, in Lisbon.