New momentum for sustainable economic development of Lipetsk
On Thursday 20 March during MITT in Moscow, the Scottish company Dunira Strategy signed an agreement to become strategic consultants and deliver a series of feasibility studies, tourism development strategies and investment promotion plans for Lipetsk Oblast.
The Oblast was represented by Pavel Semyonov of The Heritage Foundation and military re-enactment society Kopyo (“Spear”), which is actively involved in community enterprise and youth development projects. Said Semyonov “For the past nine years our organisation has been managing projects and events in Lipetsk Oblast; contracting with Dunira represents the next stage of our work. We want to expand our activities and Dunira’s expertise will be invaluable”.
Dunira will be supported by an outstanding team of students from Bunin Yelets State University. Commented Dunira’s Managing Director Benjamin Carey “I am particularly pleased about this partnership, because Dunira has a commitment to building local capacity and I know that the University is very keen to give its top students an opportunity to gain practical experience by participating in such an important project. The project will of course also benefit from the tremendous enthusiasm and local knowledge of these young people.”
Whilst Lipetsk Oblast has for hundreds of years been famous for metallurgy and mineral water, with Yelets being one year older than Moscow, the Oblast now has the opportunity to diversify its economy by developing tourism and celebrating the area’s extraordinarily rich cultural and natural heritage. Growth in the visitor economy will attract investment across all sectors, deliver new enterprises, create new jobs and enhance local pride.
Dunira originally made contact with Lipetsk Oblast through its Trade Mission to Edinburgh and London in 2013. Commented Carey: “It was clear that Lipetsk benefitted from an enterprising leadership that recognises the importance of an international profile in economic development. I was also immediately struck by how much potential the area has as a tourism destination, and that the combination of enterprise and heritage makes it ripe for investment.”
Working with stakeholders across the Oblast, Dunira will be conducting a series of feasibility studies, producing a comprehensive tourism strategy and facilitating investment in the visitor economy. Investors have already been identified in Edinburgh, London and Moscow.
Commented Dunira’s Regional Director Mikhail Kustikov: “Our work in Lipetsk is a model of what can be achieved in Russia for tourism development by harnessing local heritage and enterprise. One of our priorities is to involve as many local professionals and entrepreneurs as possible. The combination of local enterprise and external investment is critical.”
During the discussions an unusual connection emerged between Dunira and Lipetsk. Several years ago, Vladimir Lisin, Chairman of NLMK in Lipetsk acquired Aberuchill Castle in Scotland, which was once part of the Dunira Estate, after which the company is named. Carey remarked: “This is yet another confirmation of strong links between Lipetsk and Dunira.”