Like many rural areas in Europe and worldwide, the Sierra Norte de Sevilla is facing continuous depopulation. With agriculture being increasingly industrialised and centralised, and business and public organisations ever more concentrated in urban areas, opportunities in the countryside become limited and unemployment rates are high. Rural villages suffer from brain drain and the loss of entrepreneurial spirit, as young people with talent and ambition leave to search for work in the city or abroad. In a vicious cycle, towns depopulate and age, local shops and services disappear, together with the social cohesion and family support which have always formed the basis of community and inter-generational care.
La Casa y Fábrica de Luz is a project that aims to significantly support the re-creation (or regeneration) of a viable local economy in a depressed rural area in Southern Spain. Through the renovation and re-commissioning of an important local cultural heritage site (El Martinete), and the on-site development of five integrated activities, La Casa y Fábrica de Luz will develop opportunities for the local and regional community to work, learn, and participate in the creation of a thriving centre dedicated to regenerative and sustainable living.
La Casa y Fábrica de Luz has a specific focus on local young families who form the life-line of the Spanish rural economy, but currently find themselves in challenging times regarding long-term unemployment and income support.
La Casa y Fábrica de Luz takes a bottom-up, integrated and inclusive approach to development. Founded by an entrepreneurial couple, it has a systemic vision for a healthy, regenerative economy, driven by care for people and the ecosystem. Over the past three years, the project has been given important political support in local, Andalucían and national institutions. Moreover, inhabitants from the local village San Nicolas del Puerto, as well as families further afield who historically lived and worked in the old Fábrica, have embraced the project enthusiastically. They hope to participate in the restoration of their social and cultural heritage, and transform the run-down site into a socially active, strong and beautiful place, offering meaningful work, knowledge, and an example and inspiration for the re-development of rural Spain.