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Hedmark

The Hamar region in Hedmark comprises of the following four municipalities; Hamar, Stange, Ringsaker and Løten. The region has set itself the goal to become the ‘most attractive inland region of Scandinavia 2020’. The core organisation pursuing this strategy is the Hamar Region Development Agency, an agency founded in 2006 and organized as an association for the business sector. Today it is a key focal point and meeting place for business development and leadership issues with an annual turnover approx. NOK 9,4 mill

In the past the region was characterized by a rate of growth below national average. It had a need of new tools for growth and a desire to change the region’s image and increase the region’s confidence. The regional identity was undefined and the region was searching a way to develop strategies and plans incorporating the whole region. Recent developments, however, have given a major impetus to regional initiatives. . From 2000 to 2008 there was a relatively high population growth 2000-2008. Also there was a growing density of highly educated and skilled people in city areas, notably through expansion in culture and creative sectors

A new development plan for Hamar (municipality) created a platform on which new measures for growth could be addressed (based on Florida, 4Ts, etc.) and a regional plan for growth was adopted. One of the elements was a cross-border cooperation between the Hamar region and the Swedish Falun-Borlänge region. Both regions face common challenges and have similar development goals. The vision of the plan is to create a joint region of priority for the workforce required and to address the growth for a region at the outskirt of the greater-Oslo/Stockholm area.

The key goals for the region are:
• to attract and retain creative and highly skilled workers;
• Identify, develop and promote attractive living areas and carrier possibilities;
• Develop and strength the region’s hospitality capacity;
• Involve and engage youth as regards to their future role and possibilities in the region;
• Shape a sustainable and clear regional identity.

The target groups of the plan are educated and skilled workers, entrepreneurs and leaders of business sector, youth in the age of 15 – 24 year and politicians and decision makers

It all implied a shift in focus from business climate to people climate based on the theories of Richard Florida in which highly qualified and creative people choose the best places to live & work and boost economy and high variety of services. The method is based on the 4 Ts:
• Talent: networks, seminars, youth competitions, new tools to attract young people, (App), ”the most attractive employer” (competition), etc.
• Tolerance: Integration & cultural diversity, hospitality programmes for new-comers, etc.
• Technology: new channels, app for youth, cluster support, infrastructure, housing, etc.
• Territorial assets: work-life balance, distance to Oslo city/airport, leisure activities

The project addresses regional attractiveness and quality of life (work-life balance) through cooperation across private and public sectors and development of a common regional identify

Policy structure
In Hedmark the platform created as a multi-stakeholder vehicle, links strategic approaches to very specific projects.

Policy domains
In conclusion, from a strategic point of view Hedmark aims at attracting the creative class, through regional branding as a nature and sports region, with a high quality of life, defined as the work-life balance.