Gulbene Municipality is one of the 119 elected local governments in Latvia and it is one of the largest districts in country by territory. Gulbene municipality is located in the remote North-East part of the country but it has good connections with neighbouring municipalities in all directions. The environment is typically rural with forests, field plots, lakes & rivers, mansions and small villages. The administrative center of the municipality with 8000 inhabitants –Gulbene– is located 186km from capital Riga.
The main aims of the local government are to provide the community for the needed services and to represent the interests of the local residents. The main functions and fields of activity are: water supply, house heating, waste management, landscape development, education, social assistance & services, health promotion, housing, local transportation. Since the municipality is situated in a remote and sparsely populated area, the special field of its involvement is protection of nature and shaping of rural landscape. The municipality has established special purpose units and task groups to manage the “green zone” objects in its territory. The main businesses are forest industries, agricultural production, individual small scale farming.
The public sector involves schools, youth centers, municipal services, social services, local hospital and local administrative offices. The total number of inhabitants is ~ 24 000.
The Municipality initiates social, educational, project etc. activities that fall in line with the development plans of its territory and address corresponding local population groups which may apply the knowledge and skills they possess. The Municipality also renders support to the different population groups including youth, seniors, disabled and disadvantaged people to help them carry out their ideas and ambitions to improve quality of life.
At the moment Education, Culture and Sports department of Gulbene Municipality has started to work on strategic and systemic lifelong learning planning and organization in Municipality. In each parish of Municipality have a lifelong learning consultants (specialists from the county libraries, youth centers, training centers, educational institutions, cultural institutions) who inform local people about both formal and informal lifelong learning opportunities.
The most recognizable symbol of the district is Gulbene–Alūksne narrow gauge railway (Bānītis). The railway section of 33km is the only in the Baltic offering a ride with a regularly running narrow–gauge train. In Stāmeriena parish can be found Orthodox Church of St.Alexander of Neva. Because of its majestic look the church is called one of the most impressive orthodox churches in the region. Nowadays it is renovated in its original brilliance and boasts the golden crosses which are decorated with the great mountain crystals. Historical parks and manors are associated with romantic stories, about lakes legends speaks, but in museums are evidence of the people lives and events in the city and parishes -Beļava,Daukstes,Druviena,Galgauska,Jaungulbene,Lejasciems,Litene,Lizums,Līgo, Ranka, Stāmeriena, Stradi and Tirza.