A city’s plan to improve daily life and attract green industries gets a lift from EU finance

Welcome to Skellefteå, a city in northern Sweden that is making daily life more affordable for its growing population. With plenty of natural resources from forests, rivers and minerals, Skellefteå is also home to Northvolt, a large and modern battery factory that is attracting thousands of new residents.

To help meet these new demands, Skellefteå's public housing company, Skellefteåbostäder, will build nearly 750 energy-efficient and affordable homes. “If we don't succeed with the affordable housing, then we won't get people to move here,” says Ulrika Öhlund, an officer at Skellefteå municipality.

Over half of the homes will be designed for university students. “The student housing is vital for our university campus to grow,” Öhlund says, “and the campus itself is a source of competence for the green industries in our region.”

The European Investment Bank, which is owned by the 27 EU member states, is loaning SEK 800 million loan (€70 million) to finance the Skellefteå investment plan. That’s just one of many investments in Sweden by the European Union’s financing arm. Last year, we invested €2.90 billion in Sweden.

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