LAG of Upper Savinja and Šalek Valleys (Municipality of Ljubno)

LAG of Upper Savinja and Šalek Valleys (Municipality of Ljubno)

  • Datum objave 14.09.2023

About the LAG of Upper Savinja and Šalek Valleys

 

The LAG of Upper Savinja and Šalek Valleys combines, as the name itself suggests, the municipalities of two valleys – the Upper Savinja Valley and the Šalek Valley. The area covers the municipalities of Gornji Grad, Ljubno, Luče, Mozirje, Nazarje, Rečica ob Savinji, Solčava, Šmartno ob Paki, Šoštanj and Velenje.

In the 2014–2020 programming period, the LAG was financed from two European funds, i.e. the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). It thus had access to more than EUR 2.6 million of European funds for the local development strategy implementation.

Some 17 projects were approved for the LAG within the framework of the EAFRD, of which 15 had already been completed (data from April 2023). This LAG is among the most successful LAGs when drawing funds for LAG cooperation projects. It has as many as 12 approved cooperation projects, which is the highest number among all LAGs.

The LAG leading partner is Savinja, zavod za razvoj podeželja in turizma, which has its head office in the Municipality of Ljubno.

 

Municipality of Ljubno

 

Ljubno is a clustered village in the Upper Savinja Valley. It emerged at the confluence of the Ljubnica and Savinja rivers; the latter is transitioning from a narrow into a broader pre-Alpine valley. The village played an important role during the time of rafting in navigation and the timber trade (from the end of the 16th to mid-20th century). In the older part of the settlement where the parish church of St Elizabeth is situated, the lower square was formed called Plac, while the upper square was formed on the higher ground of the settlement below the Church of the Assumption of Virgin Mary and is known as Foršt. Both squares together form the market centre of Ljubno.

It was based on its tradition of timber rafting that the Municipality decided to participate in the LAG cooperation project Interaktivni turizem za vse (Interactive Tourism for All), within which the Municipality transferred the original rafting collection from a smaller into a larger space, upgraded and digitalised it. The history of timber rafting in the Savinja region is more than 500 years old. The interactive rafting collection impresses with its experiential interactive stories, which visitors get to know when strolling along the Savinja River. They become familiar with the life on and beside the river, the flora and fauna of the embankments, the development of culture in the settlement, and they get to experience the adrenaline descending along the lively rapids. The latter can be tried first-hand on a simulated ride on a raft on the Savinja.

Together with the Collection of Ljubno Palm Sunday Potica Nut Rolls, the interactive rafting collection is located at the Ljubno Cultural and Business Centre (KPC Ljubno), which is the name of the renovated complex of buildings of the Cooperative Hall, the Cultural Hall and the KLS Congress Centre, in which a comprehensive arrangement of the hallway and staircase was implemented within the LAG project (ERDF), Mi smo SVETloba (We are Light/World).

 

 

The renovated complex also houses the Ljubno Library, the equipment of which was co-financed through the LAG cooperation operation, Čebela BERE med! (Bee collects Honey). A beekeeping corner was organised within the operation, which was a didactic and educational tool intended for the youngest visitors of libraries and which was transferred between all the libraries participating in the project. Various activities on the topics of bees, reading and digital literacy took place in the libraries during the Bee collects Honey operation. Among other things, a picture book entitled A Bee collects Honey was also designed. The project contributed to the development of local libraries, the increase in their content and the transfer of innovative know-how and good practices. It also educated children and their parents about the importance of bees for our environment.

Children were also the target group of the project, Prva pametna podeželska učilnica v Sloveniji (The First Smart Rural Classroom in Slovenia) (the project was co-financed from the ERDF). The purpose of the project was to respond to development challenges, such as the high unemployment rate and the lack of jobs. The smart classroom raised the level of innovation in the environment at the age when children are most perceptible in terms of learning and thus improved the support environment for education and development. At least 800 young people will obtain new vocational competences relating to the application of modern technology, tourism and nature conservation. The project further improved the infrastructural equipment necessary for the basic education of young people and thus enabled their active acquisition of knowledge, also for the professions of the future, which enable teleworking and thus contribute to the reduced depopulation of young people from demographically endangered areas. Numerous project activities have been implemented, such as the design, production and realisation of a smart, modern and virtual programme for the promotion of tourism and education. Some 36 teachers selected from all the primary schools in the region were trained to use the classroom and the programme and more than 800 young people from the entire LAG area also became familiar with it and obtained new professional competences relating to the use of modern technology, tourism and nature conservation. In the afternoon and on weekends, the space is dedicated to 5-star tourist experiences.

 

 

The gold award, which the Municipality of Ljubno received at the 17th competition for the European Village Renewal Award 2022 conferred by the European Association for Rural Development and Village Renewal (ARGE), certainly also contributes to the 5-star tourist experience. The ARGE is an international institution that primarily helps candidate countries or new EU member states in their comprehensive and sustainable development of rural areas.

The LAG showcased the implemented projects as an example of a smart village at the web event organised by the Estonian Rural Network on 30 March 2023. Presentations can be accessed at: https://maainfo.ee/index.php?id=7932&page=3333& and video presentations at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RbnCdZr1fCI&t=2s.