Tartu's new Downtown Cultural Center awaiting Riigikogu approval

Location for the planned site of Tartu's Downtown Cultural Center (SÜKU).
Location for the planned site of Tartu's Downtown Cultural Center (SÜKU). Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

Prior to signing a financing agreement with Tartu city government, Margus Allikmaa, chair of the Cultural Endowment of Estonia, will consult with the Cultural Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu.

Last fall, the Riigikogu decided to support the establishment of the Downtown Cultural Center (SÜKU) in the heart of Tartu as a nationally significant cultural endeavor.

Since early this spring, it has been discussing funding details for the project with the City of Tartu, and a draft contract has since been finalized. Prior to signing it, however, Allikmaa wants to meet with the Riigikogu's Cultural Affairs Committee.

"Initially, the Riigikogu proposal stated that the Cultural Endowment would fund two thirds of development costs, with the City of Tartu financing the remaining third," he explained. "Tartu now wants to cover 25 percent of costs."

According to Allikmaa, this could cost the Cultural Endowment an additional €5-6 million.

Tartu Mayor Urmas Klaas (Reform) said that the private sector's willingness to support SÜKU's development has waned, and, moreover, there are now additional development plans to build a civilian shelter beneath the center for use by both those present in the building as well as those in the surrounding area.

"The public sector should join forces to negotiate and secure funding for this endeavor," Klaas said.

During the upcoming meeting, Allikmaa would also like to discuss how exactly the increase in construction costs will be calculated — "Whether to use the official construction price index (CPI) or reference prices from the most recent construction bids and analyze price increases that have occurred since the application was first submitted."

Allikmaa and Klaas have both confirmed that there are no fundamental disagreements.

The former also confirmed that following the meeting with the Riigikogu committee, the Cultural Endowment is prepared to sign the agreement.

According to Klaas, construction of SÜKU is slated to be completed by 2029.

"Once a decision has been made, an international architectural competition will be announced sometime within the next few months," the mayor said. "The necessary preparations are underway."

The Cultural Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu is slated to convene for an extraordinary meeting on August 29, said Liina Kersna, the committee's new vice chair. The committee intends to meet with the Cultural Endowment then as well.


Follow ERR News on Facebook and Twitter and never miss an update!

Editor: Kristina Kersa, Aili Vahtla

Hea lugeja, näeme et kasutate vanemat brauseri versiooni või vähelevinud brauserit.

Parema ja terviklikuma kasutajakogemuse tagamiseks soovitame alla laadida uusim versioon mõnest meie toetatud brauserist: