Modern and strong industrial city in the heart of Finland
Äänekoski, located along the Finnish national road 4, about 40 kilometers from Jyväskylä, is
particularly well-known as a strong industrial city. The city, which is surrounded by waterways, invests heavily in the development of tourism, not just the industry, and wants to involve its inhabitants in building the future.
The city of Äänekoski as we know it today has been largely shaped around the forest industry that started in the late 19th century. Back then, the biggest industrial operators organized day-care activities and handled many tasks that have traditionally been regarded as the municipality's responsibility. The industrial history is strongly visible in the spirit of the city.
The forest and the chemical industries are still going strong in Äänekoski, and the new next-generation bioproduct plant that is under construction provides a positive boost to the area.
– The bioproduct plant brings new opportunities with it. The locals have found work at the construction sites, and new operations are being built to replace the old factory, allowing various service providers to make Äänekoski their home. Other sectors have also become more active, and the overall employment rate has improved, says Economic Vitality Manager Sari Åkerlund with joy.
Åkerlund says that Äänekoski oozes with faith in the future. The open university, which started its operations in Äänekoski in the autumn of 2017 and also has contact teaching periods, is making the city even more active, and the city is actively renewing the downtown area.
Äänekoski is also investing in tourism more strongly than before. Transport connections to the city are being improved, activity in the area surrounding the Suolahti station, a valuable building in terms of cultural history, is being revived, and an equestrian center is being built near the Konginkangas racetrack, which is a very interesting project from the perspective of tourism. Another interesting question is how to utilize bioeconomy in tourism.
– I hope that we can involve the inhabitants in various activities even more. We also need smaller companies and entrepreneurs in the city. We have various projects planned and under way, and the development trend in the area is clearly positive.