Cultural involvement creates activity in Finnmark

Cultural involvement creates activity in Finnmark

November 5, 2014
Senior Research Scientist

Eni Norge’s support enhances existing cultural events in Finnmark while promoting new and better ones, according to a new report from Norut.

Norut has looked into how cultural and social development initiatives in municipalities in West Finnmark, with financial support from Eni Norge, provide spin-off effects for the local community and institutions in the region. In all, the oil company has provided about eleven million kroner in funding to at least twenty events and projects between 2008 and 2013.

The overall reaction from people interviewed is that Eni Norge has been a vital and constructive contributor to the development of activities connected with social development and culture. This has resulted in real improvements in the quality of many events and has also created new jobs.

“Eni Norge’s contributions have been very important for the content and quality of the events, and for infrastructure development in the municipalities,” says Trond Nilsen, Senior Research Scientist at Norut Alta.

Local community development
The report indicates that supporting these events is an effective way of contributing to community development. Funding stimulates a wealth of voluntary effort and in some cases leads to full- and part-time employment. The support creates periods of considerable activity in local communities which otherwise may have relatively little on offer, and generates important meeting places for local cultural and business life.

One of the purposes of such meeting places, such as festivals, is to attract people – particularly the young – who have previously lived in the community, and perhaps motivate them to move back to the area.

“Our cultural involvement is one of a number of focused initiatives aimed at creating spin-offs in the region linked to the development of Goliat, which is the first oil field to come on stream in the Barents Sea,” says Andreas Wulff, External Communication Manager at Eni Norge.

He adds that the most important spin-off effects naturally develop in the form of jobs and activity connected with the Goliat project itself, but that an attractive cultural life can entice more people to settle in the area.

“We hope that our support for cultural events will create local communities that are attractive to those who intend to live and work in the region,” says Wulff.

Improved understanding of spin-offs
Traditional studies of spin-off effects have not sufficiently taken into account the importance of cultural involvement, which Norut Alta’s report addresses. This is the fifth report from a project studying the consequences of regional spin-off effects of the Goliat project and Eni Norge’s operations in northern Norway, and it contains new elements which may contribute to a better understanding of the benefits of petroleum industry activities.

The report is based on interviews with various organisations in Hammerfest, Hasvik, Måsøy and Nordkapp municipalities, as well as in Finnmark county and at Eni Norge itself. The project is financed by Eni Norge and headed by Norut Alta.