New visions for Kramfors

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Kramfors is a municipality located in the geographical centre of Sweden but far away from its demographic centre. It has about 22,500 inhabitants, but its population is declining steadily. The traditional pulp and paper industry as well as mechanical production in the region have undergone a process of rationalisation. As a result, production is increasing but jobs are decreasing. New small enterprises have been set up but the network of additional service industries for them is still too small. Young people, especially women, don't find jobs and leave the region. The need for developing a more diversified labour market at Kramfors was evident

So a group of committed citizens from both the municipality of Kramsfors and media entrepreneurs from the region started to work on a project to establish a resource centre for media techniques. Since 1998 the project has been supported by the county administration and the EU's Regional Development Fund. Since then the new MittMedia Center has achieved some remarkable results

The equipment investments are now complete, including state-of-the-art graphic computers with broadcasting and editing. The centre has production of TV programmes on the local TV network and the local radio station has moved. There is a two-year programme offering 'Qualified Vocational Training' which attracts students from all over the country to study Digital Media Production with courses in such areas as web design, TV, and sound technology. The first class (24 students) recently finished the programme and another 48 are currently studying at the centre. The centre's contacts with a range of companies give students the possibility to acquire hands-on experience. Various other educational programmes have also been offered at the MittMedia Center

The first small and specialised media companies have set up shop at the centre. Swedish TV and radio companies as well as companies working with web design have been contacted to establish long-term cooperation, and the centre's commitment to equal opportunities has paid off: half of the students are women. After the funding period the centre wants to be self-supporting by producing and selling TV productions, by letting out studios and equipment and by offering media training for individuals and enterprises

The MittMedia Center is a resource for higher education, business and new jobs in the north of Sweden, and has thus contributed to the revitalisation of the region. The results so far are quite favourable: nine former students of the MittMedia Center have started up their own media companies, and the rest are employed by media companies
Last modified on April 2001

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