Tampere, together with 19 partners from Pirkanmaa, applied for the title of the European Capital of Culture for 2026. The Saimaa Phenomenon (Saimaa-ilmiö) and the Oulu2026 were our competitors in the bid. Finally Oulu won the title in June 2021 and will become the next Finnish Capital of Culture.
The municipalities of Pirkanmaa decided already in 2020 that even in the case of the title going for one of our competitors, the joint effort would be turned into effective Plan B for the benefit of the whole Tampere Region, a.k.a. Pirkanmaa in Finnish.
The Plan B project will run through the three following years (2022–2024) and has been renamed as Operation Pirkanmaa. The aim of the project is to support cultural actors in the region and to revive creative sector recovering from the pandemic.
The budget for Operation Pirkanmaa for three years is 2.6 million euros
The planned project budget for three years totals EUR 2.6 million. According the plan, the City of Tampere’s share of this would be approximately EUR 1.9 million and the partnering municipalities would finance Operation Pirkanmaa with a total of EUR 0.7 million.
In addition to Tampere, 19 municipalities in Pirkanmaa have participated in the joint Capital of Culture bid and they are Akaa, Hämeenkyrö, Ikaalinen, Kangasala, Kuhmoinen, Lempäälä, Mänttä-Vilppula, Nokia, Orivesi, Parkano, Pirkkala, Pälkäne, Ruovesi, Sastamala, Urjala and Valkeakoski.
The work done for the bid will grow to be greater than its parts
The aim of Operation Pirkanmaa is to develop a vibrant cultural province and an international center of expertise in the creative industries. In the region the operating conditions of professionals will be continuously developed, and the cultural rights of residents are realized. The project works to promote an increasingly equal, accessible and sustainable operating environment in the region.
With the joint funding of the municipalities, some of the project plans made in the application phase will be implemented and the know-how, networks and knowledge-base of the creative industries will be developed in order to promote employment. Strengthening EU project expertise and the internationalization of the cultural field in the region is also one of the goals of Operation Pirkanmaa.
Several projects have already started
Operation Pirkanmaa’s regional economic impact will be greater than the project budget of EUR 2.6 million, as the project will be an enabler and funding for the projects will also be sought from external sources.
Several projects involved in the Tampere26 application have already succeeded in obtaining funding. Cooperation in communication and capacity building is already taking place with some of the regional projects. The implementation of Operation Pirkanmaa will be described in more detail when the project starts in 2022.