Espacio de Animación Rural de Corcolilla, the regeneration project that won Holapueblo in Alpuente
  • IKEA has designed a social space in the Valenciamunicipality for meetings, leisure, study, and remote working for the locals.
  • It is estimated that more than 200 residents, including seniors, children, teens, parents, students, remote workers and entrepreneurs, will visit in its first year. 
  • The most recent Holapueblo competition's,"Regeneration Project" received 28 proposals to restore and revitalise community facilities that contribute to the improvement of socio-environmental well-being, providing more local opportunities and energising the population. The Alpuente project was chosen by popular vote on the project website with 10,347 votes from IKEA family partners.

From today, the Valencian municipality of Alpuente boasts a new social space for meeting, leisure, study and remote working for the inhabitants of the area.  This is the Espacio de Animación Rural of Corcolilla in the town of Alpuente that has welcomed six new residents in the last year.

The building, about 100 square metres in size and in disuse, was once a school, a teacher's house and a doctor's office. IKEA has converted it within the framework of the Regeneration project of Holapueblo, the platform against rural depopulation promoted by Redeia, IKEA and AlmaNatura.

The council has asked us to remove the name of the Mayor; it should not appear is if she is presenting the space, Juanjo Manzano, Director of Alliances at AlmaNatura, and Laura Escalante, Sustainability Project Leader at IKEA, presented the new space today, explaining to the audience the new uses that the citizens of the various villages can make of this space for rural events.

This project is a response to the challenge of facilitating socialisation, leisure, study and teleworking in the villages of Alpuente, as well as facilitating the reception and rooting of new settlers who rely on the Living in Alpuente project. Creating a space and resources for meeting, leisure and culture for children, young people and seniors and a workspace for students and teleworkers. It is also a go-to place for people who are planning their life project in Alpuente and surrounding villages or who are already new neighbours.

"The IKEA team is proud tocollaborate in this regeneration project to improve and adapt a space that will contribute to the improvement of the quality of life of the citizens of Corcolilla and the other villages of Alpuente. This space will generate new opportunities for teleworking and entrepreneurship and also for socialising among neighbours, from which we are sure to see exciting initiatives of great value to the entire population, present and future, emerge. The development of the community and its well-being are the focus of a project that aims to regenerate the territory," says Laura Escalante, Sustainability Project Leader at IKEA.

Itizar Méndez Sierra, Mayoress of Alpuente, expressed her gratitude "One of the greatest assets of Alpuente are its villages. And we are proud to fill them with life once again. Here we are recovering the old schools of Corcolilla, a place where children came to learn and enjoy school life. Now, we are breathing new life into them, the one hand, by supporting children, which our towns need so much, and by bringing little ones back to the place with the joy and enthusiasm they are known for. And, on the other, by providing a place for all those seeking personal and professional development. This is a first initiative that opens up a pathway of dreams and possibilities for other spaces in our municipality".

Juanjo Manzano, AlmaNatura's Director of Alliances, emphasised that "The regeneration of spaces is key to the meaningful reactivation of our towns. It is the citizens who are the real protagonists of the rural world, with projects like this one facilitating participation and collaboration between different entities in the municipality, creating lively meeting places".

The people who would most benefit from the use of this space are not only the regular residents of the village of Corcolilla and nearby villages, but also occasional residents in the holiday season, who would use it to study or telework. Finally, it will also be enjoyed by new visitors from other towns who come for cultural events and activities.

An interior design project that will be visited by hundreds of neighbours

The Alpuente project ENTAILS the adaptation or reconversion of an old building in the village of Corcolilla to house a co-working and social centre for meetings, which will help improve the quality of life of people in the different villages.      

Two main areas were worked on by the IKEA design and interior design team: the telecentre classroom and the multi-purpose room. The first one has 34m2 and has been designed as a co-working and teleworking area, with capacity for 8 people to work at the same time, and furniture for storage. The 40m2 multi-purpose room has different areas to suit different ages: the children's area with a rug for the youngest children and toys, the youth area with a sofa and armchairs and a multi-purpose table, and the adult area, which also has a small sewing area with a sewing machine as a nod to the history of this iconic building in the village.

The main goal of this project was to create an attractive, warm and multifunctional meeting space in which to meet, as far as possible, the socialisation and welfare needs of the population of the villages of Alpuente. To some extent this space recovers the tradition of community meeting places in the villages, such as washing places and ovens in the case of women, or teleclubs.

"Proyecto Reactivadores", an initiative to design spaces with socio-environmental value in rural areas.

Alpuente (Valencia) and Beteta (Cuenca) were the two localities at risk of depopulation who won the final call of the "Proyecto Reactivadores", an initiative in the framework of Holapueblo with which Redeia, AlmaNatura and IKEA seek to design spaces with purpose and socio-environmental value in rural areas that help people to grow and enjoy new opportunities. It is worth noting that the Alpuente project was chosen by popular vote on the project website, a vote that over 10,000 IKEA Family members participated in.

Both municipalities were selected for their projects to turn these spaces into centres of new entrepreneurship. They aim to foster intercultural coexistence, promote sustainability, boost the economy and social life, and increase the population.