The registered association Styrian Iron Route is a development agency comprising 18 municipalities. As the key player for regional development in the old mining and industrial district of Leoben (Upper Styria) it can build on 30 years of experience. Among many other regional and national projects, it has been responsible for managing the EU LEADER-programme for the region “Styrian Iron Route” since 2002. In the last 15 years, projects worth about 20 millions of euro have been implemented in the region through initiatives of the association. The topics of the projects cover local economy, urban revitalisation, tourism and mining culture & heritage. Cultural change has been another major issue in the recent years. In the - even internationally - well-known “ReDesign”-process of the mining city of Eisenerz, the association Styrian Iron route plays a major part as well: The project aims to rebuild the shrinking mining city and use the high potential of centuries-old buildings with deep cultural heritage by giving them new usage. Between 2010 and 2017 VESTE has been partner and work group leader in three EU projects (Central Europe/Interreg programme) dealing with the challenges of old European mining regions and building a strong network with similar Central European mining regions.