Innocastle, a new ambitious European project dedicated to castles, manors and estates was launched last week, on the 2nd of October 2018 in Bucharest, Romania. At European level, many castles and manors have difficulties in maintaining or adapting themselves for the future. Innocastle aims to improve policy instruments governing this specific type of heritage in partner regions, through stimulating the exchange of knowhow between the five project partners.

Innocastle kicked off at Hanul lui Manuc in Bucharest, Romania, followed by a two-day study visit throughout Romania. A team of international experts and policy makers visited several manors in Ialomita, Prahova, Buzau and Dambovita counties to assess the situation in Romania and formulate advice and suggestions for improvement.


Romania has approximately 1000 castles and manors, of which 10% are in an advanced state of deterioration, according to a study by the ARCHÉ Association in 2015. Castles and manors have an enormous potential to become drivers for innovation and tourism, but this will not happen by itself. A shared vision, regional cooperation and political support is essential.

The lead partner, the National Institute of Heritage in Romania has organised this event. All partners presented the situation in each partner region, the policy instruments addressed in the project and their expectations from the Innocastle project.
● “It is very important for us to stimulate cooperation between various stakeholders in Romania through this project, to create innovative policy instruments that are adapted to local opportunities.” – Raluca Barbulescu – National Institute of Heritage, Romania.
● “We are interested in new visions on how to finance heritage and in ways to stimulate the financial autonomy of castles, manors and estates” – Bert de Roo – University College Ghent, Belgium.
● “We are interested in how we can better use castles, manors and estates as an asset in regional development for our region” – Paul Thissen – Province of Gelderland, the Netherlands

●”We wish to promote our region as a complete touristic destination. We have 332 castles in our region and wish to promote them as a whole” – Silvia Hernandez Muriel – Regional Government of Extremadura, Spain.
● “Being part of Innocastle is an opportunity to learn and share with European colleagues” – Catherine Leonard – National Trust, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Innocastle – Innovating policy instruments for preservation, transformation and exploitation of heritage castles, manors and estates European historic castles, manors and estates have the potential to become local catalysts for regional development and innovation. Innocastle prepares them for the future by stimulating resilient policies for conservation, transformation and exploitation. The consortium of partners is composed of: National Institute of Heritage in Romania (lead partner), University College Ghent in Belgium, Province of Gelderland in the Netherlands, Regional Government of Extremadura in Spain and the National Trust in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (knowledge partner). The project is financed by Interreg Europe, with a total budget of €1,120,335.00 (85% ERDF, 15% co-financing).

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