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The Central Industrial District

The Central Industrial District (Polish acronym: COP) was the biggest economic endeavour to take place in the Second Polish Republic. It was carried out in 1936-1939 by civilian and military Domestic Planning Offices, according to the ideas of the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Treasury, Eugeniusz Kwiatkowski. The investment plan covered the territories of four provinces centred around the cities of Kielce, Krakow, Lublin and Lvov (i.e. over 15 per cent of Poland’s territory inhabited by 18 per cent of its population). Altogether this area encompassed almost 60,000 square kilometres and 6 million people, most of them dwelling in poor, overpopulated villages, and in need of employment.

The COP plan consisted in joining under the state’s umbrella a number of strategic investments with varying functions and scale of economic impact. It envisaged the establishment of new enterprises meeting the military production needs, the development and establishment of civilian enterprises as well as modern infrastructural, energy and communication projects. The establishment of COP aimed to beef up Poland’s defence potential, reduce unemployment, and bring up the level of life in neglected regions of the country contributing to and capitalizing on the favourable economic climate at the end of the 1930s. Some of the plans for the development of the region extended well into the future.

Unfortunately, the implementation of many projects was interrupted by the outbreak of the Second World War. Construction investments that had been started included the steel works and town of Stalowa Wola, the munitions factory and town of Nowa Dęba (previously Dęba), the munitions factory and town of Kraśnik Fabryczny, the gun powder factory in Krajowice, the factory and town of Poniatowa, aircraft plants in Mielec and Rzeszów, the chemical plant in Nowa Sarzyna (previously Sarzyna) and the factory of synthetic rubber and tyres in Dębica.

As part of the Central Industrial District a central gas pipeline was built (linking the towns and cities of Roztoki, Rzeszów, Sandomierz and Starachowice with Warsaw), so were hydroelectric powerplants (e.g. Rożnów, Porąbka, Czchów), power stations, power grids (e.g. the 150 kV power line running from Mościce to Starachowice), roads, railways, ports, etc. The projects were carefully prepared by the most eminent specialists across various fields of industrial expertise.

Dr Hab. Eng. Arch. Marcin Furtak