Reconversion of former military sites into industrial parks

Feasibility study
EU-Phare – Pilot Project Reconversion of former Military Sites into Industrial Parks (Tapa and Paldiski)
  • Institution
  • Ministry of Economics, Tallinn
  • Location
  • Tapa, Paldiski
  • Service
  • Team leader/Project design
  • Duration
  • 1999
Feasibility Study

From pre-accession funds, the EU funded a study on reconversion of former military sites around 45 minutes drive from Tallinn in Estonia. Fully-fledged regional analyses were carried out for Lääne-Viru and Harju to determine potentials and possible origins of investment funds. Tapa is a major rail junction (and continues functioning as an army base) whereas Paldiski hosts air and naval bases and features a harbour with regular connections to Scandinavia and other European ports.

As usual under RegioFuturi’s structured development support, the following activities were conducted:

  • a review of the regional background based on official/statistical data
  • questionnaire-based surveys of enterprises and local administrations, virtually all of these face-to-face so as to get a good feeling of the situation on the ground
  • presentation and discussions of findings in a participative planning workshop
  • strategy and action plan, including proposals for potential industrial park projects
  • design of an industrial park project in Tapa, based on existing municipal plans
  • study trip to military conversion projects in Germany and Hungary


The concept for Tapa was agreed as follows:

  • Develop the industrial park on the former military site (with a management concept developed by the project team)
  • Focus on woodworking and engineering enterprises
  • Develop a state-of-the art woodworking training centre
  • Improve the rail connection to Tallinn
  • Elaborate a policy to promote tourism to the area


For Paldiski, the development strategy was to be based on the following points:

  • Make available premises for logistical and industrial purposes and market the locations professionally
  • Try to attract at least one research institute to Paldiski
  • Make sure that vocational and professional education is in line with market needs (for instance tourism, logistics)
  • Draw up land-use plans clearly defining protected areas and zones reserved for recreational purposes
  • Improve the quality of rail services to Tallinn
  • Elaborate a policy to promote tourism to the area

The project led to an Interreg III B Baltic Sea Region co-operation  First Class Industrial Parks

Assessment / analysis

Project design

EU grant funds

Organisational development

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