Mayors call out: Changes in business support must not hinder growth in Central and West Jutland

On behalf of the municipalities in Business Region MidtVest, Hans Østergaard, mayor, Ringkøbing-Skjern, Marianne Bredal, acting mayor, Struer, Peder Chr. Kirkegaard, mayor, Skive, HC Østerby, mayor, Holstebro, Erik Flyvholm, mayor, Lemvig, Dorte West, mayor, Herning and Ib Lauritsen, mayor, Ikast-Brande

 

Chronicle of the seven mayors in Business Region MidtVest

MIT and West Jutland are today a strong industrial area with good growth. It must continue to be so. That is why the Government, in its otherwise entirely relevant work to reorganize the business support schemes, must also not deteriorate the framework for the companies in central and western Jutland.

But apparently that is exactly what is happening. The Business Promotion Agency is, even on a questionable basis, removing the business clusters which are both particularly important in the central and western Jutland area and at the same time also represent some of Denmark's unique positions of strength.

 

Clusters must contribute to growth – also in Central and Western Jutland

Most agree that the key to future growth in Denmark is about converting the knowledge that knowledge environments produce into innovation and entrepreneurship in our companies.

Here, the Danish business clusters play an absolutely crucial role as links between companies and knowledge institutions - and it is absolutely essential that it is easy to access the clusters, also in central and western Jutland.

It is therefore incomprehensible that, in addition to wasting three years of building these clusters, you also drop what was absolutely crucial when they were established, namely getting a balanced regional anchoring of the business clusters, so that the clusters benefit companies throughout Denmark.

This principle appears to have been replaced by a more centralist approach. If the decision is upheld, it will not only harm the growth opportunities for the companies in central and western Jutland, it is also a bad socio-economic decision – when you compare the benefits to the costs of maintaining clusters in central and western Jutland. 

 

Stick to the strategic investments that support the regional growth engines

At its latest meeting, Denmark's Business Promotion Board - after a closed process and on the basis of non-objective criteria - administratively recommended that support for several Danish positions of strength be removed.

This applies, among other things, to the support for the sound area and the cluster Danish Sound Cluster, which is particularly important in the central and western Jutland area. The sound industry is one of the country's strongest tech areas, primarily concentrated in the capital area and in central and western Jutland. The audio industry already employs 52.000 jobs in over 600 companies and accounts for more than DKK 60 billion in total. in export kroner. Sound is one of the Danish strengths that Invest in Denmark likes to highlight in their sales pitch for what is special about Denmark. 

Companies in the Danish sound industry are located all over the country, while the head office of the sound cluster is located in Struer in Northwest Jutland, as the only Danish business cluster. The members include recognized companies such as Grundfos in Bjerringbro, Bang & Olufsen in Struer, Troldtekt in Troldhede, Fog og Venø in Aulum, Bramming Plast-Industri, Tonax in Horsens, as well as globally famous audio brands such as Scan-Speak in Videbæk, SL Audio in Skive and Dynaudio in Skanderborg.

In other words, it is an extremely important business cluster for Central and West Jutland - and for attracting and retaining new talent to the industry. It is therefore illogical that it is now recommended that the Business Promotion Board exclude sound technology in its future strategy. Especially when significant companies and universities such as Aarhus University and Aalborg University support the importance of the sound cluster's work, as well as access to the cluster with its location in central and western Jutland.

The seven municipalities in central and western Jutland naturally recognize that it makes good sense to revise the business support schemes. It just must not be at the expense of innovation, strong competitiveness, attractiveness and regional jobs in central and western Jutland.

Therefore, we call on the minister and the Business Promotion Board for a new strategy to maintain support for the sound area and thereby maintain the Danish positions of strength and regional growth engines. It will be beneficial for the central and western Jutland area - and for the whole of Denmark.

Danish Sound Cluster

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