Tanum: a place where entrepreneurial spirit flourishes
Tanum has an unusually high number of companies in relation to its population. Several popular tourist destinations and cultural environments attract lots of visitors all year round. This creates good opportunities to run companies in the areas of retail, cultural experiences, handicrafts and other areas of tourism.
Entrepreneurship is one of the most prominent features of Tanum Municipality. The fact that there are more than 2,400 companies across 12,800 inhabitants is a clear illustration of the fact that Tanum residents like taking the initiative and doing business. The population grows five-fold during the summer months, and there is potential for more entrepreneurs to become permanently established in Tanum.
Retail is an expanding sector. Autumn 2014 saw the opening of Tanum Shoppingcenter, with 40,000 square metres of retail space by the E6 near Tanumshede. The proximity to Norway means that there is increasing demand for retail and housing.
The municipality is particularly rich in cultural entrepreneurs in all branches of the arts. There are studios and cooperative workshops in Bottna and at the Gerlesborg School of Fine Art.
There is a significant tourism economy. Tanum has many attractions, including the rock carvings in the Tanum world heritage area with more than 500 rock carving sites and tens of thousands of images. Over 100,000 visitors a year from all over Europe come to the rock carvings in Vitlycke. Other major destinations are Väderöarna (The Weather Islands), Kosterhavet National Park, Fjällbacka, film tourism and the many camp sites.
Thanks to the expanding tourism industry, there are many companies in the construction sector. At the end of 2015, Derome acquired the former IAC factory in Tanumshede, a facility of 19,000 square metres, which now houses a roof truss factory, a builders’ merchant and other businesses.
One of the most prominent competences in Tanum Municipality is the entrepreneurial spirit. There are plenty of dynamic individuals who are prepared to develop and run their own business. It is around such people that many small and medium-sized companies in the areas of retail, industry, handicrafts, tourism and culture have been built up. One good example is Sportshopen in Grebbestad, which is the biggest sports shop in the Nordic region. Tanumstrand near Grebbestad is the biggest hotel and leisure facility between Oslo and Gothenburg.
The high level of cultural activity is largely due to the attractiveness of the Gerlesborg School of Fine Art. Most of the country’s artists have either studied or worked here. The study programmes for Art maintain a high level.
There is also a strong industrial tradition in the municipality. Major industrial companies include Tetra Pak, which manufactures packaging solutions, and Nordan (formerly Tanums Fönster), which manufactures special windows.
More industrial and retail areas planned
Plans are under way in Tanum Municipality for more new areas for industry and retail. This is because the level of demand for such land is greater than supply, and the municipality has decided that such land must be available in all larger communities.
One of the areas that will be completed first is the one being created around the new shopping centre by the E6 by Tanumshede. More new areas will be developed in Grebbestad, Fjällbacka, Hamburgsund and Rabbalshede. There is land available in the village of Östad in Bullaren.
Premises for industry and retail and space in a business hotel in Tanumshede are available to hire from private businesses.
Plenty of helpful networks
Tanum Turist, with its 260 member companies, is an important network for those working in the tourism industry.
Företagarna, the Swedish Federation of Business Owners, has many members in Tanum Municipality and there is significant collaboration with various actors.
Every large place in the municipality has a civic association. These associations are strong and display a high level of engagement in current issues and for the development of the local area.
In the field of culture, networks include Konstnärernas kollektivverkstad (Collective Workshop for Artists) in Bohuslän and Konstvandring (Open House for Artists) in Ranrike. Both have hundreds of contacts in the world of art and represent the best interests of visual artists. There are also a number of informal networks between cultural entrepreneurs.
Unique living environments by the coast and inland
Tanum, which is located in the northern part of Bohuslän, offers a wide variety of environments in which to live: coastal areas and archipelago, inland among farmland, forests and lakes.
Many communities in the municipality offer rental and/or tenant-owned apartments. For those looking for freehold properties, there are plots available, and estate agents always have homes for sale.
Thanks to the E6 motorway, and the dense road and rail network, there are excellent connections throughout Tanum Municipality. Oslo and Gothenburg are both just 1.5 hours away by car. Two international airports, Landvetter and Gardemoen, can be reached within 2.5 hours.
Cluster for artists and other cultural workers
The cultural offering in Tanum Municipality is bigger and broader than you might expect from a municipality with just over 12,000 inhabitants. There is so much to experience, especially for those who are actively on the lookout for things to do. Attractions here include the rock carvings at Tanum, which have been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1994. The southern part of Sweden’s very first marine national park, Kosterhavet, is in Tanum Municipality.
This is one of the municipalities in the country with the most cultural workers, with a high concentration of artistic creativity and a major global influence in areas such as art, theatre and dance. Many cultural workers choose to work in Tanum before taking their works out into the wider world.
Residents of Tanum have always been open to influences from the outside, but when it comes to getting things done they rely on themselves. This attitude is clearly reflected in cultural life. One example is the former quarrying industry, which is now part of the arts sector.
Number of inhabitants: 12,841
Surface: 924 km²
Population density: 14 inhabitants/km²
Commuting: 1444 in, 1,963 out