Knin Entrepreneurship Centre Worth 27.5 Million Kuna Planned

Lauren Simmonds

Updated on:

Copyright Romulic and Stojcic
Knin, Croatia
Knin, Croatia

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Brnic writes, the former complex of buildings of the now-defunct Kninjanka Knin clothing and lingerie factory has been closed and rotting for two decades now, but life should return to this facility by the time next summer rolls around.

This is the place where the City of Knin, in partnership with the Local Development Agency Matica and with co-financing from European Union (EU) funds, will realise the largest individual investment in entrepreneurial infrastructure in the area, the construction of the Knin Entrepreneurship Centre.

A tender is currently underway for the renovation of the aforementioned buildings and the conversion of the former Kninjanka factory into the Knin Entrepreneurship Centre, the value of which is estimated by the City of Knin to stand at an impressive 27.5 million kuna.

It is a space that has represented a certain level of misery and sadness among Knin’s locals for years, because it used to employ about 800 workers, mostly women, but after the war and the lack of interest in taking over and continuing the industry, Kninjanka has been completely closed and left to rot since 2003.

After an unsuccessful attempt at the rehabilitation of the buildings, the former Kninjanka building was taken over by Jadranska banka (Adriatic bank), from which the complex covering 11,000 square metres was purchased by the City of Knin back in 2018. Since then, preparations have been underway for a project to renovate and build a centre for the starting and developing of new businesses, for which there is growing interest and potential across Knin.

In previous years, people had a hard time coming to terms with the disappearance of many industrial companies for which Knin was once famous, and of the former “giants” only the production of screws continued in the premises of TVIK, which was taken over and renovated by Samobor DIV.

Lately, the desire has prevailed in Knin for the city to no longer merely perceived solely as a place of special Croatian patriotism during August and as an area where people live on state aid. There are more and more people wanting change to come, especially among the younger population who think differently and decided to seek help for their entrepreneurial ideas.

Ivona Malenica, director of the Matica Local Development Agency, pointed out that a visible progress has been made when it comes to Knin’s tourism and services, as well as agriculture.

During the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic last year, the aforementioned development agency organised a web market and networked local producers, and it turns out, according to the director, that there is a lot of room to start up the local economy and develop new ideas in Knin.

“It’s the infrastructure that Kninjanka boasts that will be a much-needed injection for entrepreneurship and will offer a different picture of Knin for those who live there and those who may recognise Knin as a place to come and live and work,” added Malenica, whose agency is announcing a tender for two associates who will prepare things and attract potential users of the future Knin Entrepreneurship Centre.

As far as the renovation of the Kninjanka building is concerned, the reconstruction for which the contractors are required envisages comprehensive interventions on several facilities, from the factory hall, the two-storey building, the boiler room, to the fuel oil storage and the fuel station.

The construction of these facilities began primarily back in 1975, and in the past twenty years of non-use, all of the installations, windows and doors have been destroyed, as have roofs and partition walls which all need to be replaced, new waterproofing needs to be installed on all roofs and all of the other surfaces, etc.

The City of Knin is collecting bids for the renovation of the Kninjanka building electronically through the EOJN until April the 19th this year, and the deadline for submission is within 30 days, while the contractor has 10 months left to complete all the work following conclusion.

However, given that it is now known that local elections will follow, it is quite likely that the contract for this job will be concluded by the successor of the current Knin mayor Marko Jelic, who did a great job on the Knin Entrepreneurship Centre project so far when it comes to obtaining EU money and preparing a lot of paperwork.

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