On January 29, 2021, a training seminar was held in the framework of AGORA project, during which Sofia shared its experience in regeneration of urban spaces. Sofia Development Association introduced the partners to the project "Toplocentralata", which is implemented thanks to the Sofia Municipality.

The aim of the project is to turn the former heating plant of the National Palace of Culture into a center for contemporary arts, which will provide conditions for a wide range of artistic events (theater, music, dance, visual arts), as well as for educational and social activities. It will support independent artists by giving them more opportunities to collaborate with foreign colleagues. The idea for "Toplocentralata" comes from the artists themselves and its aim is to become a good practice for creation of independent cultural spaces in Sofia, which can be replicated elsewhere in Bulgaria.

The partners were impressed not only by the success of the grass-route initiative and the bottom-up approach , but also by the great interest in the international architectural competition for reconstruction of the building, through which the project "Toplocentralata" was selected.

AGORA is going to help to clarify the functions of the site, to identify potential users and audiences, to give ideas for smooth and effective integration of the space in the surrounding park and to generate ideas for programming and promotion of the future cultural center.

If you would like to learn more about the “Toplocentralata” and AGORA projects, you can watch the video HERE.

The AGORA project is implemented under the INTERREG Danube program and is co-financed by the European Union funds (ERDF, IPA II).