Arendals Fossekompani and Sparebanken Sør give NOK 30 million each to the Arendal canal

“We have never been closer to reopening the canal in Arendal,” says Cecilie Helberg, Chair of the Kanal 2023 Foundation. Today, Helberg proudly announces that Arendals Fossekompani and Sparebanken Sør are contributing with NOK 30 million each to dig up the historic canal in Arendal.


“A wonderful gift that can make a wonderful city even more wonderful! It is probably the largest private gift in the history of Arendal, and a perfect 300 year anniversary present for the people of Arendal. With NOK 60 million in funding from two large, local companies, it will be much easier to raise funds for this unique urban development project,” says Helberg.

More than a year ago, Arendals Fossekompani announced its support of NOK 30 million for the canal project. Today, Sparebanken Sør stands shoulder to shoulder with Arendals Fossekompani, as champions of a project that Kanalselskapet has been working to realize since the 1990s.

“This is perhaps the most important urban development project in Arendal in recent times. Reopening the canal will increase the attractiveness of Arendal and will add new qualities to an already fantastically beautiful city,” says Benjamin Golding, CEO of Arendals Fossekompani.

He has the full support of CEO Geir Bergskaug at regional bank Sparebanken Sør.

“Sparebanken Sør congratulates Arendal on its 300th anniversary and gives 30 million as a gift to the city, its inhabitants, and the region. The canal company and other enthusiasts have long worked to reopen the canals. We would like to contribute,” says Bergskaug.

The total cost of reopening the canal in Arendal is estimated at NOK 200 million. Kanal 2023 Foundation expects that local financial support will trigger a larger contribution from the state. Efforts to raise private capital continue.

“Arendal is a canal city. Except for the last 90 years, Arendal has always had a canal between Pollen and Kittelsbukt, as a lifeline through the central town centre. A re-opening of the canal could well be happening soon,” says Helberg.

Snohetta Kanalen i Arendal Cerulean Copyright Plomp lowres