The Slovenia Times

Murska Sobota recognised as the most development-minded municipality

The centre of Murska Sobota with the Martin Luther Evangelical Church. Photo: Nebojša Tejić/STA

Murska Sobota, the regional centre of Prekmurje in the northeastern-most part of Slovenia, has revitalised itself through renovation and restructuring to win the 2024 Golden Rock award as the most development-oriented local community.

Murska Sobota is often pioneering new and innovative approaches, and the city has also successfully overcome a severe crisis, the business event organiser Planet GV said after the award was presented for the 13th consecutive year at the close of the annual conference of Slovenian mayors on 19 March.

One of Slovenia's 12 urban municipalities, Murska Sobota has a population of just over 18,600 as of mid-2022 according to the national Statistical Office. It is one of the local communities that have progressed the most according to measurable indicators, the award organisers say.

Murska Sobota Mayor Damjan Anželj hailed the award as a confirmation that the municipality is doing a good job. He noted that the award jury particularly praised the renovation of the city centre, the Expano pavilion on the Sobota Lake, and the good cooperation between the local authorities and the Roma community.

The municipality has also been "successfully restructured in terms of business". After the collapse of some large factories, such as the clothing maker Mura, many medium-sized, small and family businesses with high value added have been created, the mayor said.

Murska Sobota made it to the finals of this year's competition as the winner in the East Slovenia category along Ribnica (Southeast and Central Slovenia), Slovenj Gradec (Koroška-Posavje) and Tržič (Western Slovenia).

Meanwhile, the western city of Nova Gorica received the Municipality of Health Award for major progress in the promotion of health of residents, which is conferred by the National Institute of Public Health.

The city stood out among the finalists due to a "broad range of health activities and a clear focus on a community-oriented approach to health", the jury said.


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