Economic board member Henk ten Holscher van Mepel sees business parks in his area filling up. Crazy situation, because a few years ago there was still doubt whether the Noord II business park would be full. “It is special in times of Corona, but companies are investing heavily and now almost all the pieces are sold out,” he says. He also sees the same picture around him. “This is also happening in Staphorst and Steenwijkerland. Our focus seems to be very exciting for founding companies.”
Expansion already purchased
This is why Maple is looking even further. If you are now driving from Zwolle in the direction of Steenwijk, you will see a lot of activity on the left. To the right is still arable land. Ten Hulscher sees opportunities to expand there. “The corner of the motorway from Zwolle is already full. That is why Meppel has now also bought land on the right-hand side of the motorway. We call it Noord IV. It has been in the plans since 2010. We see potential for a building there in time. A commercial complex.”
There will likely be a lot of companies interested, but it will take some time before they can be built. “We have bought the land and it should become a commercial complex, but it is still farmland. We have good cooperation with Drenthe at this point, just things are always a little slower on the municipal side than on the commercial side.”
Drenthe a little bigger then?
Apparently, Maple can hardly go any direction in terms of expansion. “In relative terms, we are a small municipality with a small rural area,” continues a local council member. “We are gradually reaching the limits of our own square meter, but we would like to continue.”
This is why he is looking at an area near the port, because there is also a great need for more pieces there. At the moment all the “wet” pieces are sold out. The port of Meppel borders Staphorst and Ten Hulscher would like to purchase a plot of land from its neighbour, Overijssel. Will Drenthe County get a little bigger?
“This is neighbour’s land. Fortunately, we have good contacts with our colleagues at Staphorst. They look at this topic in a bold way and I think we have the same intentions,” says the local councilman. “The most important thing is that we work well together. It’s about employment in the area. Because wherever you land, the neighboring municipality always benefits.”
However, port expansion is not just a sum: the intended area is currently still a nature reserve. This has already raised many questions in the city council. “It’s not done overnight,” says Tin Holcher. “The area has high natural values and research is being done now.”
“I think expansion is important to our economy and sustainability ambitions,” he continues. “In the context of the regional deal, in which a lot of European money came in this way, the expansion of the Maple port has become one of the famous projects.”
“Total coffee specialist. Hardcore reader. Incurable music scholar. Web guru. Freelance troublemaker. Problem solver. Travel trailblazer.”