Urban development

Available financing

More than 75% of the SCF's total resources, or nearly BGN 258.81 m, are aimed at promoting urban development. BGN 119.48 mare for financing the implementation of sustainable urban projects in Sofia and BGN 139.33 m for eligible projects in Southern Bulgaria.

Who can apply for funding?

Eligible for funding are all project promoters who fulfill eligible urban development activities (including their operators, public and private companies and public-private partnerships) in one of the following areas: Urban Transport; Urban regeneration; Areas with potential for economic development; Sports infrastructure; Cultural infrastructure in the following cities:  Blagoevgrad, Burgas, Haskovo, Yambol, Kardzhali, Kyustendil, Pazardzhik, Pernik, Plovdiv, Sliven, Smolyan, Sofia, Stara Zagora, Dimitrovgrad, Asenovgrad, Karlovo, Dupnitsa, Petrich, Gotse Delchev, Kazanlak, Panagyurishte, Velingrad.

Eligible project promoters for energy efficiency projects for university dormitories are: higher education institutions and legal entities managing student dormitories, as well as other legal entities that have the legal status that allows them to receive funding and to carry out eligible EE activities.

What type of urban development projects are funded?

  • improving of the quality of the urban environment - parks, zoos, playgrounds, markets, city squares, alleys and sidewalks, etc .;
  • development of environmentally friendly and sustainable urban transport - traffic management plans and Integrated Transport Systems, street networks, pedestrian and bicycle lanes, car parks, etc .;
  • development of sports and cultural infrastructure - sports halls, swimming pools, football fields, stadiums, cultural centers, theaters, libraries, opera houses, galleries, exhibition halls etc .;
  • investments in areas with potential for economic development - construction and reconstruction of business and industrial zones, technical infrastructure, etc.;
  • improving the energy efficiency in university dormitories - achieving a minimum standard for EE class "C" Provided that the project implementation achieves energy savings exceeding 60%, complete refurbishment and reconstruction is permitted. Renewable energy installations are also eligible as far as they are utilized for own use.

How is it proven? Examination of compliance with the eligible activities under Priority Axis 1 "Sustainable and Integrated Urban Development" – it is established by SCF on the basis of the presented project idea and application form.

Maximum amount of funding 

When financing urban development projects, the total investment in a eligible project by the SCF can not exceed the amount of BGN 39 116 600 (EUR 20 000 000).

Repayment terms/periods

- Minimum term - 12 months.

- Maximum term - 240 months (20 years) for urban development projects and 180 months (15 years) for energy efficiency projects in university hostels. 

Maximum grace period (re. principle) 

- 36 months (3 years) for urban development projects

- 18 months for energy efficiency projects in university dormitories 

Own contribution of project promoter 

The applicant's own contribution to an urban development project is at least 15% of the project costs. There is a possibility for a reduction of this required contribution at the discretion of the SCF or to not require co-participation for municipal or other public recipients.

Territorial scope 

Eligible investment projects for urban development should cover the territory of Sofia Municipality and the cities of South Bulgaria: Blagoevgrad, Burgas, Haskovo, Yambol, Kardzhali, Kyustendil, Pazardzhik, Pernik, Plovdiv, Sliven, Smolyan, Stara Zagora, Dimitrovgrad, Asenovgrad, Karlovo, Dupnitsa, Petrich, Gotse Delchev, Kazanlak, Panagyurishte, Velingrad,. In order to be eligible for financing, the projects should comply with the Integrated Plans for Urban Regeneration and Development  (IPURD) of the respective city.  Projects which include the development of functional connections with neighboring cities/ villages are considered as eligible investments too if are part of IPURD. 

Energy efficiency projects for student dormitories and for urban transport are horizontal measures and may fall outside the teritorial scope of the IPURD areas of impact.  

How is it proven? Presentation of a statement issued by the Intermediate Body/ municipality, confirming that the project proposal is in compliance with the IPURD (with the exception for urban transport and the EE of university dormitories) - an annex to the Application Form.

Financial viability

Unlike projects with grants, urban development projects funded by the SCF, have to generate revenue through the inclusion of economic activities within the framework of the project in order to ensure the financial sustainability of the project. Due to the socio-economic impact of the project, revenues should be insufficient to finance the project on a purely market terms.

How is it proven? It is established by the SCF on the basis of the presented Business Plan, according to the requirements, published on the website of SCF.

Combination of support– Grants + FI

Combined funding is intended for projects that do not have the potential to generate sufficient revenue to be fully funded through financial instruments and need a grant to make them financially viable.

A combination of Grant and a loan from the SCF is possible for projects under Axis 1 of Operational programme „Regions in growth“ - cultural infrastructure and energy efficiency in university dormitories, when the final beneficiaries are eligible under the Axis 1 of Operational programme „Regions in growth“.

How is it proven? An Application Form and a Business Plan are submitted to SCF by the project promoter, on the basis of which the SCF determines the funding gap, i.e. the grant required in order to ensure the financial viability of the project. The SCF experts evaluate the project for the part, financed by the financial instrument. After the assessment by the SCF, the applicant submits the project proposal through the UMIS 2020 for evaluation by the MA.