There is a sense of crisis in the small town of Nikel located on the border to Norway and Finland. Here, most men and women have for the past three generations had their lives closely connected with the local nickel smelter.
Now, the cornerstone industry is closing and several hundred people will be dismissed in the course of the year. Locals fear that Nikel will be abandoned and turned into a ghost town.
However, local authorities and the nickel company assure that there will be new industries created that locals can be re-trained and re-employed in new jobs.
«Nobody will abandon Nikel,» regional Governor Andrey Chibis said after signing an agreement with Nornickel in late 2019.
The local town has «a serious future», the regional leader assured and invited locals, companies and investors to take part in a discussion about strategic developments.