Russia has hundreds of towns and cities where a single industry or factory accounts for most of the local economy. Most Russian mono-cities were established around timber processing, machine building, food, fuel, and metal manufacturing industry plants. Nearly 10 % of Russia's population lives in these cities. Russian single-industry towns or so-called mono-cities account for up to 40 % of the gross domestic product.
There are 15 small towns in the Vologda Oblast, six of them have a population varying from 10,000 to 19,900 people, and two cities have a population of 20,000 - 49,900 inhabitants, Sokol among them.
Sokol, located 35 kilometres off Vologda, is a classical mono-city. It was built in 1932, its main branches of industry being wood processing, pulp and paper industry.
The economic crisis has shown that the economic life of such mono-cities is extremely unstable. Russian President Dmitri Medvedev obliged the Government to approve programs of assistance to mono-cities.
In order to find additional income as well as create new jobs the Vologda Oblast Government initiated the development of economy diversification options. The authorities propose to start building industry and housing construction, to produce roof covering, furniture and accessories, and to develop wood pellet manufacturing in Sokol. Besides that the authorities show serious intentions for small- and medium-sized business development in town.
The mono-city's leaders would like to reduce the dependence on the local economic mainstay on account of establishing an industrial park and attracting investments.
A project of industrial park in Sokol, named Sokol Industrial Park is carried out within the framework of a complex investment plan of modernization of the city of Sokol, (resolution of the Vologda Oblast Government N 957 of August 18, 2010) and in accordance with the resolution of the Vologda Oblast Government N 605 of May 24, 2010 "Long-term programme "Complex modernization of Sokol for 2010 - 2012".
The main objectives of the programme of complex modernization of Sokol are:
- To diversify the economic system of the city;
- To increase competitiveness of the economic sector owing to modernization of production facilities and implementation of investment projects on the territory of the Sokol Industrial Park;
- To create new working places;
- To develop small- and medium-sized businesses;
- To involve small- and medium-sized businesses into production and non-manufacturing business;
- To modernize and develop the city's infrastructure.
The Sokol industrial Park is included into the State Investment Program. All enterprises and businesses located on the territory of the I-Park will be entitled to preferential policies and will be exempted from taxes on organizations property and transport taxes for five years.