Innova rural, the project of reactivation that won the IV edition of Holapueblo in Beteta
  • IKEA has designed a telecommuting and training space in the town of Beteta (Cuenca). The town's former school will be the location to attract young people and help them find local job offers
  • It is estimated that up to one hundred teleworkers will benefit from it in its first year; around 1,000 people will attend the training sessions organised there, and up to 2,500 people will participate in the activities offered by different associations
  • Manuel Vega, mayor of Beteta, and Elena García, Project Manager at AlmaNatura, along with Marta Francia, IKEA designer, have introduced this new space
  • The latest call for Holapueblo and its Proyecto Reactivadores (Project of Reactivation) received 28 proposals to recover and revitalise community spaces that contribute to improving socio-environmental well-being, enhancing local opportunities, and empowering the population. The Beteta project was chosen by a professional jury made up of representatives from Redeia, AlmaNatura, and IKEA


The municipality of Beteta, in the province of Cuenca, has a new space: Innova rural. It was created by IKEA using the town's old school premises as part of the Proyecto Reactivadores founded by Holapueblo, the platform designed to combat rural depopulation, promoted by Redeia, IKEA, and AlmaNatura.

Manuel Vega, mayor of Beteta, and Elena García, Project Manager at AlmaNatura, introduced the new space along with Marta Francia, IKEA designer and the person in charge of the interior design project. During a guided tour, they explained the process followed to design it and the different way that the community can use it. 

Thus, it was designed as a space that meets several local needs: providing motivation and convenience for the younger population to work remotely from there; hosting training sessions to upskill the local community, who often lack access to training opportunities elsewhere, thereby increasing their response to local job offers; and, finally, serving as a meeting point to foster synergy among neighbours, promote socialisation, and encourage the development of new projects and entrepreneurship. 

Furthermore, it also meets demand as the town's nursery school is located on the lower floor of the building and is open to collaboration with associations in the town (youth, cultural, musical, heritage recovery, and senior associations), educational institutions, companies, non-profit organisations, and governmental entities interested in rural development. The end goal is to halt depopulation and also attract other people from outside the town who wish to lead a quieter and more sustainable life without giving up their professional development.

‘At IKEA, we are delighted with this project, as we believe it combines everything needed to generate a positive and lasting change in Beteta. We are proud to provide a space that will serve to generate new job opportunities and also provide a space for socialisation among neighbours. Therefore, we are sure exciting initiatives and great value will emerge for the entire current and future population. The development of the residents of the town and their well-being are the key focus in a project that aims to rejuvenate the territory,’ emphasises Laura Escalante, Sustainability Project Leader at IKEA.

Meanwhile, Manuel Vega highlights that ‘the Innova rural project marks an important milestone for our community, with its focus on rural innovation and its role as a centre for meetings and opportunities. Furthermore, it should also be noted that it will play a key role in retaining young people and creating local employment, as well as in promoting training and entrepreneurship. This project is part of our ongoing efforts to revitalise our region and build a sustainable and thriving environment for all our residents.’

‘At AlmaNatura, we are aware of the challenge posed by the rejuvenation of small towns, as well as the commitment and determination of their government teams, which are fundamental to keeping every corner of rural Spain alive. In addition, if we create alliances that promote a new vision of the town while improving coexistence and quality of life, these types of spaces will be essential in the coming years,’ pointed out Juanjo Manzano, Alliances Manager of AlmaNatura.

An interior design project involving hundreds of residents

The transformation of this space includes two rooms totalling 110 m2, located on the first floor of the old school. One of these rooms is specifically intended to serve as a telecommuting space, offering a dozen functional and ergonomic workstations and four different areas: a co-working area, a printing area, a chill out area, and an exhibition area, with a total capacity of 20 people. 

The second room will be multipurpose: a versatile classroom where formal training activities, meetings for entrepreneurs, themed days, and exhibitions and workshops can be held. It also has up to four different areas (a workshop area, a meeting area, a chill out area, and an exhibition area) with a capacity of around 30 people. In both rooms, storage solutions appropriate for each activity have been installed. 

It is estimated that these rooms will host up to one hundred teleworkers in their first year. Similarly, around 1,000 people will attend the training sessions organised there, while up to 2,500 attendees will participate in the activities offered by different associations.

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

Alpuente (Valencia) and Beteta (Cuenca) were the two locations at risk of depopulation that won the latest call for Proyecto Reactivadores, an initiative within the Holapueblo framework. With this, Redeia, AlmaNatura, and IKEA seek to design spaces with purpose and socio-environmental value in rural areas that may help people grow and benefit from new opportunities. Both towns were selected for their projects designed to consolidate these spaces as starting points for new ventures. They will also serve as a lever for positive transformation to make the town a hub of intercultural coexistence with a clear vision towards sustainability, which will help boost the economic and social activity of the towns and promote their demographic growth.

About Holapueblo

Holapueblo, the promoter of this initiative, is a project conceived by AlmaNatura and driven by Redeia and IKEA. Its purpose is to encourage repopulation in rural areas by influencing two essential actors: people (entrepreneurs and jobseekers) interested in settling in rural areas and city councils of small towns committed to attracting and retaining population. Since 2019, the programme has assisted 148 towns and mentored 95 entrepreneurial people, changing 133 lives and helping 30 business projects get up and running.