Bacau is a medium-sized town in the Eastern part of Romania. Like many other mid-size towns in this part of Europe, Bacau’s development was determined by planned economics for a long time. With the fall of the communist regime, and as a result of having a limited competitive advantage compared to other nearby urban agglomerations, it began losing its population and the leading sectors of the local economy went into crisis. While facing different challenges on social, economic, cultural and environmental level, Bacau found it hard to dream big, and got stuck in a pessimistic mentality.
Bacau Local Development Agency wanted to exploit TechRevolution expertise and the good practice provided by Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council in order to turn the old cinema building into a vivid enterprise hub by adapting the business model and methodology of the Digital Media Centre in Barnsley.
Due to national and local rules and regulations in construction and procurement, as well as excessive bureaucracy, the project for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the former cinema’s building would be severely delayed. There they were, overflowing with new knowledge, methods, practices – but with no building where they could apply this valuable know-how.
Giving up certainly was not an option. Thanks to the flexibility of URBACT and the support of the Lead Partner and Lead Expert, they managed to change course: as the completion of the hub was far away, they decided to rather focus their efforts on building the local entrepreneurial ecosystem.