Operation Pirkanmaa Kicks Off – Tampere and Its 19 Partner Municipalities Develop The Region’s Experience Economy

The work to improve the creative industries’ operating environment continues, although the title of Finnish European Capital of Culture (ECoC) went to Oulu. The goals of the ECoC bid will be carried out, albeit at a smaller scale, by the three-year-long legacy project of Tampere26, Operation Pirkanmaa, which started at the beginning of 2022.

The goal of this joint operation by Tampere and its nineteen partner municipalities is to develop an increasingly vibrant and equal Tampere Region, where culture has a greater role in developing regional attractiveness and holding power.

The project funds culture and art projects, supports operators in the cultural sector in developing expertise and brings together different culture development projects in the Tampere Region. The partner municipalities continue to cooperate closely, build municipality-specific culture plans and investigate possibilities to develop and spread new operating models in the region together. 

Additionally, Operation Pirkanmaa supports the internationalisation of cultural operators, and works together with regions in the ECoC network, such as Oulu, which received the title for 2026.

Greater than the sum of its parts 

Operation Pirkanmaa’s project budget for three years totals 2.6 million euros. Tampere’s share of it will be 1.9 million euros and the partner municipalities will participate with a total of 0.7 million euros. 

Tampere’s partners in implementing Operation Pirkanmaa are Akaa, Hämeenkyrö, Ikaalinen, Kangasala, Kuhmoinen, Lempäälä, Mänttä-Vilppula, Nokia, Orivesi, Parkano, Pirkkala, Pälkäne, Ruovesi, Sastamala, Urjala, Valkeakoski, Vesilahti, Virrat and Ylöjärvi.

Numerous projects involved in the Tampere26 application have already succeeded in obtaining outside funding, and the recently launched Operation Pirkanmaa will support implementation of dozens of projects between 2022 and 2024. 

– The project will have a strong emphasis on regional development and communal projects, often carried out by freelancers, which will feed the growth of wellbeing and creativity, says Ilona Kyykoski, Project Manager for Operation Pirkanmaa.

– Of course, the legacy project’s funding differs from the intended budget of the Tampere26 project, which was over 50 million euros, but funding for Operation Pirkanmaa is still a major additional boost for the region’s cultural field, which was hit hard by the pandemic, Kyykoski adds.

The project’s virtual kick-off 

Operation Pirkanmaa organised a virtual project kick-off event at 3 pm on Tuesday 22 February 2022. The first set of programmes was released at the event, and a video of the event was made available for two week after the broadcast, that is until 7 March.