Wednesday, June 25, 2008

BPN 1139 Creative Campus around the corner

It is next month two years ago that we moved our offices and living apartment to the new town Almere, the sister city of Amsterdam. We have settled in and love it here. People, most of them from another part of The Netherlands, speak rather negatively about the city. The newspaper De Volkskrant last year published a survey saying that Almere was the ugliest city of The Netherlands and Amsterdam the best. Oh well, the majority of respondents were, most likely, Amsterdam singles, who look in the morning at each other’s breakfast table. You do not have to do that in Almere; here is still space (see photograph).

Almere has now some 190.000 inhabitants and should double this number in the coming years. There is space enough for houses and for industry. Business wise Almere is a pushy city. It wants to be in top leagues. So it attracts industries and companies and takes care about the living environment. Almere sells itself as a high-tech city. It has since 1998 the Institute of Information Engineering, specialising in digital life, and has many IT companies and consultancies like Accenture within its municipal borders.

In order to execute high-tech plans Almere has an organisation, Almere Knowledge City, which thinks up projects. There has been a project to streamline the ICT infrastructure of public schools. There is a two year project going on, linking up every company and household to a glass fibre network. By 2010 it should be ready (Our offices are due to be connected by October 2009). And there are many more projects. But most of these projects are technical.

In the creative business field there were some signs of activity. A well known television personality established his studio in Almere in 2006. But now it looks like there will be a great impulse and that just around the corner of our offices! On the business park De Vaart, the Creative Campus has been established by MAC3PARK Businesscenters. The company will transform an enormous plant, formerly owned by a farmaceutical company, into a creative spawning place with international flair. The campus will encompass 50.000 square metres, six soccer fields. And the creative campus has a bright future. Its position with regard to the creative centres of marketing and publishing Amsterdam and broadcasting city Hilversum are only half an hour by car or half an hour by train, when there are traffic jams. But Almere has the also the advantage that it still has space in abundance; and that is something that Amsterdam and Hilversum do have not. Besides a square metre in Almere is cheaper than in Amsterdam or in Hilversum.

From July 1, 2008 the plant will be remodelled for offices, labs, construction and exposition halls. And the first companies have already signed up. Go Crossmedia, a new publisher in social networking, internet marketing with video and audio streaming, Go Facilities and Divi systems, an ICT supplier, will be the first companies to establish themselves at the Creative Campus from September 1 onwards. A spokes person for the GO Crossmedia company said that the companies could have looked for separate buildings. However they expect synergetic effects from being in one building; a foregone conclusion which had already be drawn in cities like Helsinki and Manchester.

Blog Posting Number: 1139


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