Nokia, the NRW Government and the City of Bochum to create a "Growth for Bochum" program
Espoo, Finland - Nokia, the State of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) and the City of Bochum jointly unveiled a plan today to stimulate growth, create new jobs and generate investment for Bochum and the neighbouring cities. The agreement underlines Nokia’s and NRW’s commitment to the region following the closure of the Bochum facilities.
The main elements of the “Growth for Bochum” package, which will be executed under the joint responsibility of the parties, are:
- A proactive, international campaign to attract suitable investors to Bochum and the surrounding region in order to create long term employment opportunities in the area.
- The establishment of an “Entrepreneur Centre” in Bochum to develop and grow new companies which will create high quality employment. The business sector focus of the centre is to be decided.
- The creation of a Chair at the Bochum University or a similar mechanism to ensure the commercialization of scientific research.
- Finding a suitable buyer or investor for the Nokia facilities in Bochum to ensure job creation on the site with financial support.
In addition, the Parties agreed on financial support for the surrounding region of Bochum.
Nokia will support these measures by contributing the sum of 20 million euros plus the net proceeds from the sale of Nokia’s production facility and property in Bochum. NRW will also contribute a co-investment in the amount of 20 million euros.
The details of the above measures will be finalized in the near future.
“We said in January that, as a responsible company, we would work together with the employee representatives, unions, NRW Government and City of Bochum to find ways to support employees and Bochum’s future growth both during and after the difficult process of closing the factory. We are pleased to now announce this important milestone,” said Nokia Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President Rick Simonson.
“This agreement with the NRW Government and the City of Bochum aims to create jobs and bring new companies to the Bochum region. All parties share the strong belief that the ”Growth for Bochum“ program will provide a good impetus for sustainable job creation in Bochum and the region,” Simonson added.
NRW Economics Minister Christa Thoben said: “Following the social plan agreement between Nokia and the works council it was important for the NRW Government to agree to a future-orientated solution for Bochum. Nokia has made this solution possible, and we are satisfied with the result.”
The City of Bochum also welcomed the outcome of the negotiations. “It is not easy for Bochum to deal with the loss of Nokia. However, I am pleased that we will receive strong support from Nokia and NRW in the search for investors and in identifying new job creation opportunities,” said Bochum Mayor Dr. Ottilie Scholz.
As part of the plan Nokia and NRW have also discussed the issue of the subsidies paid to the company in the late 1990s and both parties now consider this issue closed.
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