Leirvik is a town and administrative center in Stord municipality
in Vestland. The city has 14,316 inhabitants as of 1 January 2021.
Leirvik is located on the southeast coast of the island of Stord and
is the regional center in Sunnhordland. The center of Leirvik itself
is located in a cove and historically has been a natural harbor at
the mouth of the Hardangerfjord with a central location for the
shipping along the Westland coast. In recent times, the Leirvik
settlement has grown far beyond the central core and now stretches
from the former independent settlement of Valvatna in the south to
Rommetveit in the north, a distance of over 8 kilometres. Most of
the buildings are located along the fjord, which means that the
settlement is long and thin in extent.
Public services and education
As an administrative center in Stord municipality, Leirvik has several important public services. Stord town hall is located here, as are several regional services such as Nav, Sunnhordland district court and Stord traffic station. The regional hospital Stord Hospital is located just north of the center of Leirvik. Stord sheriff's office and Stord Fire and Rescue are also located in Leirvik
Leirvik has 5 primary schools (1st - 7th grade) and 2 secondary schools (9th - 10th grade).
Stord upper secondary school has three departments with a total of 737 students in 2018.
Stord folkehøgskule starts in August 2021 and is centrally located in the center of Leirvik.
The University of Western Norway has a branch in Leirvik. The campus is located on Rommetveit and has a history dating back to the establishment of Stord Seminarium in 1839.
In recent times, Leirvik has mainly been built on industry, from boat building to the oil industry. The two largest companies in Leirvik at the moment, Aker Solutions Stord and Leirvik AS, are both historically boat builders who have switched to the oil industry. The two companies together have over 2,000 permanent employees.
Wärtsilä Norway AS is another large company and has an office at Heiane in Leirvik, where they also have a test center for testing new technology.
NCE Maritime CleanTech, a national business cluster for research into clean maritime solutions, has its headquarters in Heiane.
Leirvik is an old traffic hub. The coastal bus that connects the city to Stavanger, Haugesund and Bergen passes here, and fast boats go east towards Kvinnherad, Skånevik and Ølen, and north towards Bergen. Leirvik also has a wide route network of buses to neighboring municipalities and within Leirvik. The main terminal for both local and regional bus transport is Leirvik Terminal centrally by the harbor in Leirvik Sentrum. Leirvik speedboat terminal is approx. 50 meters away.
Stord Airport, Sørstokken is approx. 12 kilometers west of Leirvik and has daily departures to Oslo, as well as periodic charter traffic both at home and abroad.
Europavei 39 (E39) runs partly through the outskirts of Leirvik on its way over the island of Stord, where it connects Leirvik to the cities of Bergen and Stavanger.
County road 544 runs through the city centre, where it meets the E39 at both ends. County road 5050 runs from the center of Leirvik north until it meets the E39 at Førland north of Rommetveit. County road 545 connects Leirvik with the town of Sagvåg.
Stord Maritime Museum
Leirvik has several cultural monuments and several listed buildings.
The Norwegian University of Applied Sciences on the Vestlandet campus Stord
Hystadmarkjo burial ground
Stord district court, magistrate's court
Theater and cinema
Stord kulturhus is located in the center of Leirvik and has a theater hall with a cinema, as well as a smaller dedicated cinema hall.
Leirvik has several sports complexes, the two largest of which are Vikahaugane sports park and Prestegardskogen sports park. The biggest clubs are Stord IL, which has teams for all ages in several different sports, and Trott IL, which is a pure football club. Stord IL is historically the biggest football team in Leirvik and has its home ground at Stord Stadion. Leirvik otherwise has a rich selection of clubs in a large selection of sports.
There are several outdoor areas and parks in and around Leirvik. Hystadmarkjo is a nature reserve with several cultural monuments, swimming beaches and hiking trails. Vidstenparken is the city park in the center of Leirvik and is located right next to Sunnhordlandstunet. Landåsen is a popular hiking area with several swimming pools and lighted dirt roads. Just south of Leirvik center is a Sponavikjo bathing beach. Ådlandsvatnet north of the center offers hiking opportunities with a lighted dirt road around the entire lake, as well as a sandy beach and several bathing areas.
Sunnhordland and Stord24 are both newspapers with headquarters in Leirvik. NRK also has a local office here.