In Drenthe local entrepreneurs and property owners work together with the regional and local governments. Together they aim at seven vital and vibrant cities in Drenthe. An investment fund has been created to stimulate the seven bottom-up city centre plans. In the workshop we will explore the success factors and the challenges of the Drenthe approach. What are the lessons of Drenthe for other regions and the other way round?

In Drenthe all municipalities participate in the retail agenda (villages and cities). Plans are being made bottom-up, a regional fund is financing the start of the plans (€ 39 million). The plans include hospitality, urban space, cultural activities, and a definition of smaller retail areas. They also include finding out the distinctive identity of each place.

In Drenthe transformation is one of the big challenges. Vacancy rates are only slightly worse than in other Dutch areas, but transformation to other functions than retail is much more complicated. This is because of the population decline in the area, making transformation more costly than elsewhere. The available regional fund is not enough to finance the plans, more funding is necessary.

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Thank you for your interest in the International City Retail Experience