Two December days brought Oseberg Viking Heritage Foundation miles closer to achieve its vision: To build an information centre dedicated to Viking ship building and other handicrafts.
“Its nothing less than fantastic!” exclaimed chair Einar Chr. Erlingsen after he within one hours time learnt that the foundation would receive a total of 29,2 MNOK – or 3 MUSD. First, Tønsberg town council granted MNOK 28 to be used on infrastructure, next the county council of Vestfold and Telemark granted another MNOK 1,2 to keep up the ship building activities during 2023. (The foundation is presently building an archaeological replica of the Gokstad ship).
From worries to joy: Erlingsen makes no secret of the fact that next year had looked rather gloomy for the Viking ship builders prior to the great news. Layoffs of some of the nine employees would soon have to be considered, he admitted.
But not anymore. With another MNOK 1 from the Jahre Foundation as well as income from ship operations and souvenir sales, Mr. Erlingsen is optimistic when considering the coming year.
Thanking politicians: He wants to send thankful greetings to both town and county politicians, especially Maja Foss Five and mayor Anne Rygh Pedersen. The latter first raised the idea of using the regions rich Viking heritage to develop tourism. That was back in 2003, during her period as county mayor.
New infrastructure: On December 14 Tønsberg town council granted 28 MNOK to build new infrastructure and new quays and jetties at the town´s waterfront Viking shipyard, the first 4 millions to be paid in 2023, the remaining 24 millions during the years 2024-2026.
The Oseberg foundation will start fund-raising activities for the planned buildings on the site in early 2023.