Its central location, astonishing population growth and affordable housing make Tampere an extremely attractive marketplace.
“The Tampere region is one of the fastest growing regions in Finland. Unlike Helsinki, which is by the sea, growth in Tampere is not limited by its location,” says Timo Antikainen, Director of Business and Economic Development at the City of Tampere.
The number of people living in and around Tampere is 380,000, and the area has already attracted an impressive 24,000 companies. As a business area, Tampere serves the entire Pirkanmaa region, which has 512,000 residents.
The Tampere region has grown into the second-largest urban centre in Finland after the capital region.
The Tampere region has grown into the second-largest urban centre in Finland after the capital region. The population of Tampere has grown at an astonishing rate over the last 10 years: the Tampere city region attracts an average of 4,000 new residents every year.
“This trend is not showing any signs of slowing down. Quite the opposite, population growth is increasing. In 2040, the Tampere city region will have half a million residents,” says Antikainen.
The region has excellent prospects for growth, which is reflected in forward-looking investments. More and more companies and employees are moving to the area to benefit from the growing trade, industrial and service sectors.
The city centre became even more appealing this April when Ratina, the largest shopping centre in Tampere, opened its doors.
The city centre became even more appealing this April when Ratina, the largest shopping centre in Tampere, opened its doors. Its 140 shops and services offer a variety of choices for shopping and recreation.
Construction is booming in the area, and new apartments are being built particularly in central Tampere. Urban development projects also cover entire districts: Ranta-Tampella near the city centre is one example of the many areas that are being developed in Tampere.
“The residential areas that are served by the new tramway are an important focus. Tens of thousands of new apartments will be built along the tramway route.”
An attractive hub in the heart of Finland
According to Antikainen, one of the reasons behind Tampere’s appeal is that it is one of Finland’s most highly developed university cities.
This position will be further reinforced at the beginning of 2019 by the Tampere3 higher education institution, which will be created by the merger of the current Tampere University, Tampere University of Technology and Tampere University of Applied Sciences. The city also attracts highly qualified professionals from elsewhere.
“Tampere is known as a hub of high technological expertise, which attracts not only businesses to the region but also talented professionals in search of work. Tampere ranks second in Finland behind Helsinki in terms of the balance between incoming highly educated residents and graduates moving out of the region,” Antikainen says.
According to Antikainen, this represents tremendous potential for the retail sector. Equally advantageous is the fact that Tampere is not located in the Helsinki metropolitan area.
Tampere’s central location means that as much as 94.2 per cent of Finland’s population lives within 500 kilometres of the city.
“The cost of living is lower here than in Helsinki, which increases the purchasing power of those who live in Tampere,” Antikainen adds.
Tampere’s position as a hub in Finland is also reflected by Rajaton seutu, a report produced by MDI Public Oy, which states that as much as 94.2 per cent of the country’s population lives within 500 kilometres of Tampere.
Tampere is seeing growth not only in permanent residents but also in domestic and international overnight visitors.
“The city attracts affluent visitors, such as conference guests. One indication of this is the fact that Tampere Hall, which is the largest conference centre in Finland, broke all of its visitor records last year,” Antikainen says.
Finland’s popularity as a travel destination is also growing internationally, which attracts tourists to the country. Tampere is responding to this trend by building new hotels.
“Domestic shopping tourism is another form of tourism that is constantly growing in popularity,” Antikainen concludes.
Joining the dynamic growth of Tampere
One of the new operators in Ratina is Fitness24Seven, the Swedish fitness chain that currently owns 41 gyms across Finland.
The company has launched five new gyms in the Tampere region in a little over one year, including the fitness centre in Ratina.
“We are the largest fitness centre brand in Finland, and we choose our locations carefully. Tampere was a natural choice for us because of its dynamism and excellent potential for growth,” says Janne Rögård, Country Manager at Fitness24Seven.