Tabačka Kulturfabrik

Košice, SK
by David Hanko
A monumental tobacco factory fuelling the creative sector


Through the efforts of OZ Bona Fide, a civic association, a former tobacco factory has become a creative hub that stimulates art, creativity and cooperation. The developments have taken place against the backdrop of a wide range of investments in the creative sector in Košice.


In city centre


The Royal Hungarian Tobacco Factory in Košice was established in 1851. The factory produced cigars and pipe tobacco. In 1951, production ceased, and most of the premises were reconstructed to facilitate a vocational school. Several buildings of the complex are registered as national monuments. [1]

In 2009, OZ Bona Fide, a civic association, started to develop independent creative activities in part of the complex. This evolved into a wide array of activities. Since 2015, the Tabačka Kulturfabrik has opened its doors as a creative hub that provides supports artists and contemporary creative, authentic and experimental culture. It has transformed the former tobacco factory into a creative hotspot for the city that stimulates art, creativity and cooperation. [1;2]

The complex has become a space for concerts, theatre performances, exhibitions, lectures and conferences. There are co-working facilities for young entrepreneurs, as well as thirteen office spaces for rent. A community garden experiments with contemporary growing techniques like aeroponic towers. Furthermore, several businesses are housed in the complex, including COPYVAIT (a printing studio), EMER servis (a bar-bistro), and Orgon Studio (a recording studio). [1]

The development of the Tabačka Kulturfabrik has taken place against the backdrop of significant investments in the cultural and creative industries in Košice. In 2013, the city of Košice was the European Capital of Culture. Following that, Košice set itself to be internationally known as a creative city by 2020. To realise this goal, the Košice 2020 – Creative Economy Masterplan was developed. Under the 2013 – 2018 edition of the plan, a wide range of activities has been developed, including establishing a mentorship programme for the creative industries and an artist in residency programme for the local business sector. Numerous workshops, festivals, exhibitions have also been organised. Next to that, the plan gave impulse to the establishment of a range of new organisations, like a new art-house cinema, a centre for art therapy, and further incentives for the independent development of the Tabačka Kulturfabrik. [3;4]


Heritage utilized
Building(s) and/or monumental structures
Cultural and Creative Industries
Community action; Creative industries; Entertainment; Sharing economy


Tabačka has emerged through activities undertaken by OZ Bona Fide, a civic association. This association was established in 1995 to create independent cultural centres in Košice. It had already been instrumental in establishing two cultural community centres, namely IC Cultur Train and Kasárny Kulturpark. Since 2009, it started to develop activities in part of the former tobacco factory. Nowadays, it oversees operations of the cultural centre. It has a small number of staff members on-site and cooperates with many local, national and international partners. Tabačka is part of the Trans Europe Halles network of independent cultural centres in Europe and, in 2008, co-founded the Slovakian network of independent cultural centres in Slovakia (ANTENA). [1;2]

The Košice self-governing region owns the area of the former tobacco factory. In 2012, a long-term lease, valid until summer 2022, was signed with OZ Bona Fide to allow for the establishment of the cultural centre.


Governance arrangement
Led by citizens / community group
Organisational form
Non-Profit Entity
Stakeholders involved in implementation
Citizens or Community groups; Local government; Private sector business

Business Model

The Košice self-governing region has financed the reconstruction of the buildings. OZ Bona Fide has invested in modernisation and furnishing the premises. [1]

For specific activities, the initiative has drawn on national and international funding schemes, like the European Capital of Culture grant scheme for the organisation of festivals and events and the ACF – Slovakia program as part of the EEA Financial Mechanism 2014-2021, for the renovation and modernisation of part of the complex. [1;2]


Initial investment
Type of financial resources utilized
Direct funding or subsidies; Revenue generated through organisational activities
Source of financial resources
EU funds; Public regional authority's budget; Organisational activities
Non-financial contributions


  1. Tabačka Kulturfabrik, organisational website,, accessed on 11/02/2022

  2. Kotiková, Z(2013)Kultúrne cetrum Tabačka Kulturfabrik v kontexte európskej kultúrnej politiky[translated in English], available at

  3. Creative Industry Košice, organisational website,, accessed on 11/02/2022

  4. Creative Economy Masterplan “Košice 2020” ,, accessed on 11/02/2022