Tampere applies to become the European Capital of Culture 2026
Tampere and Mänttä Vilppula together apply to become the European Capital of Culture 2026, which is the next time a Finnish city can become a Capital of Culture. With the help of the initiative, the cities want to become even more charismatic cities of experiences. Tampere is the main applicant city, Mänttä-Vilppula the main partner in cooperation.
During the past few years, Tampere has developed into a versatile charismatic city and strengthened its reputation as a city of culture and events. Besides the numerous events and cultural experiences, visitors are also drawn to Tampere by the city’s atmospheric and unique milieu. The city’s industrial past is visible in the city centre townscape, dominated by the Tammerkoski national landscape with its redbrick factories. Tampere has a lot to offer even for a nature tourist. It’s these strengths, among many others, that give Tampere a good basis for the Capital of Culture initiative.
The cities that have previously been elected as Capitals of Culture have estimated that the status gives both economic and image benefits. The cities have particularly experienced that the city’s brand has improved both nationally and internationally, the cultural life has experienced an uplift and tourism has improved.
In Tampere, the initiative is going to be a part of central developmental programmes and services. With the help of the initiative, it is possible to include more meaningful content in urban development programmes and, for example, the Hiedanranta district, event areas and art museums. The initiative will hopefully increase Tampere’s international recognition and the number of tourists. In addition, the desire is that the initiative would increase locals’ hometown pride and comfort of living.
The objective is to improve the employment in the area as the initiative strengthens the experience economy and creates jobs within the creative sector. It is estimated that other sectors will also experience a positive effect regarding employment. Successful European Capital of Culture initiatives have created 8–12 times larger economic activity within their economic areas compared to the city’s own efforts. The status will increase the number of visitors by 10–15 per cent during the actual event year, and the number of visitors will generally stay at a high level for a long time or even permanently.
The initiative tries to create a cooperation network where stakeholders and other towns in the area are tightly involved.
The application to become a Capital of Culture will be submitted in 2020. An independent panel of European experts will name the cities that made it through, and the final proposal for the initiative is submitted at the end of 2021.
To prepare for the initiative, EUR 300,000 have been reserved for this year, and for 2019–2020, EUR 400,000–500,000 annually. The actual costs of the initiative will by defined by the contents and infrastructure built for the programme during the application process. The estimated costs for 5–6 years are approximately EUR 50 million, of which the city’s share is EUR 15–20 million.
Besides Tampere together with Mänttä-Vilppula, Oulu has announced that it will apply for the European Capital of Culture 2026. Previous Finnish Capitals of Culture are Helsinki in 2000 and Turku in 2011.