The campaign has offered selected people without connection to either Tornedalen or the sparsely populated area to try living in Pajala and Övertorneå municipality for six months.

Two families took over and both have chosen to stay after the end of the trial period.

- A big thank you to Matilda and Erik and the Uittenbogaard family who told about their lifestyle change that a move entails.

Our municipalities and life here have been given valuable media space and we also see that it has inspired others both locally and abroad, says Johanna Funck, project manager for Pajala municipality.

That's the motivation

Among the finalists were also Jämtland, Söderhamn, Växjö / Kronoberg and a collaborative project between Karlstad, Linköping, Norrköping, Västerås and Örebro.

But Pajala and Övertorneå won and parts of the motivation read:

“A place far from the hustle and bustle of the big city.

An area where the players have broken new ground in the pursuit of increasing attractiveness.

Marketing and concrete action go hand in hand when the image of the place has reached new rooms in media of various kinds.

With the vision of cared for, inhabited and lively villages, this year's winners inspire small places to take command of their future.

And surely one will be eager to find one's new home village? ”

The municipal council is proud

Pajala's municipal councilor, Ulrica Hammarström (S), is very pleased with the price.

- We at Pajala municipality are incredibly proud and happy for the award and it shows that even we small municipalities can be at the forefront when it comes to attractiveness and visibility, she says to the municipality's website.

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Erik Wernerlich and Matilda Mattson Fröjd have taken their pick and pack and changed Hägersten to Tornedalian Soukolojärvi.

Photo: Joakim Nordlund

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