Over a period of several years, the entrepreneurial spirit in the Vara municipality has been amongst the best in the country. Moreover, documentation exists for the fact that the business climate is favourable. The municipality counts approximately 800 businesses and 600 agricultural operations. The informal networks are strong and companies like to do business amongst themselves.
The focal point within trade and industry lies with the manufacturing industry, commerce and agriculture. The fact that trade and industry have its origin in, and are still closely connected with farming, makes perfect sense as the flatlands are very fertile. From these lands stems an extensive yield of different grains products, egg-laying chicken and broilers, as well as piglets and slaughter pigs. The majority of the largest businesses in the municipality started out as creative farmers’ ideas and were developed into exporting industries.
Another face of the open landscape is provided by the many horse farms, and the activities that are linked to them. For those who’d like to establish a business on a farmstead in a vivid little country community, with big cities within convenient reach, the small town of Vara is a perfect choice.
Expertise in entrepreneurship and industrial development
Entrepreneurship and industrial development are two clear areas of excellence in Vara. In both fields, there’s a strong tradition with an extensive historic background. Local entrepreneurs took the step from idea to action and started small industrial businesses in the places where they lived. Often these were farm buildings. That’s the reason why businesses still today are spread out over the municipality.
Industrial operations have a particular expertise in the field of, amongst others, the development and manufacturing of:
- ventilation systems (Swegon)
- retreading of tyres (Vianor)
- concrete tiles and pavers (Benders Sweden)
- kitchen furniture (Kvänum Kök and Vedum Kök)
- steel constructions and agricultural machines (Ranaverken Sweden)
- elevators and conveyors for agricultural purposes (Skandia Elevator).
Good industrial climate
Existing industrial estates are located for instance in Kvänum, which has a very good industrial climate and many manufacturing businesses. For companies that want to build their own premises, plots are available with access to the E20.
The available industrial premises, office and commercial spaces are mostly to be found in or around the main town of Vara.
Forums for dialogue
Apart from the Committee for Trade and Industry, which is a forum for the dialogue between trade and industry and the municipality, there are many business structures in Vara. Here are some examples:
- Företagarna i Kvänum have strong informal networks. Together, they have for instance built a conference hotel in order to be able to welcome guests to there respective companies.
- Lyskraft Vara has set out to turn Vara into a more attractive small town and regional centre. Here, commerce, tourism, real estate owners and non-profit organisations work together with the municipality.
- The community associations are powerful and active. Their objective is to develop their home town and to make sure social life is good.
- Since 2006, the Vara municipality has a cooperation with the Chinese Huangshan City. The municipality is also a member of the West-Swedish network that has contacts with municipalities in China. The ambition is that these contacts should open doors for businesses.
Urban areas and countryside
In Vara, half of the inhabitants live in one of the nine urban areas. The other half lives in the countryside. Here you can find a little farmstead or croft with outbuildings and land. You can for instance select a horse farm, or a property with space for a workshop.
There’s good availability of building plots, and they’re spread out evenly over the municipality. In the main town of Vara, you can purchase co-operative homes. Also, several landlords let out apartments in the various communities.
It’s easy to get to Vara, which is located at the crossroads between the E20 and highway 47. Two railway lines pass through the municipality. By car, it takes 30 minutes to the nearest airport with domestic destinations, and 60 minutes to the nearest international airport.
The Vara municipality contributes to giving households the possibility to connect to the fixed fibre network, that has a broadband capacity of 100 Mbit/s. Extending this network will be completed in the middle of 2014.
A rich cultural life
With 400 associations, this is a municipality that is very much alive with activity. All leisure centres and athletics facilities are owned and run by the clubs. The fact that people in Vara in all situations prefer the club format, is based on a strong feeling for community and each other.
Apart from the small-scale club life, there’s also a range of cultural facilities available, such as the Vara Concert Hall, which is amongst Sweden’s best in terms of the number of annual performances. The venue hosts major Swedish artists as well as celebrities from other countries.
A great many archaeological finds prove that Vara has been a place with strong cultural traditions that go way back in time. Some of the most spectacular finds are 1,500 years old. Here, you’ll also find the Sparlösa stone, which was adorned with carvings in the 800’s and is Sweden’s oldest rune stone.
Number of inhabitants: 15,557
Surface: 700 km²
Population density: 23 inhabitants/km²
Commuting: 2,936 in, 2,296 out