URBAL

 

De Provincie Overijssel heeft binnen het kader van het Europese Interreg IIIB Noordzee Programma een overkoepelend project ontwikkelt dat het thema stad-land uitwerkt. Samen met de vijf andere deelnemende regio’s in Noorwegen, Engeland, Zweden, Duitsland en Belgie is het project URBAL (urbaan-ruraal) Development ingediend bij het secretariaat van het Europese subsidie programma en kreeg vervolgens een uitermate positieve beoordeling. Het project URBAL Development is begin 2004 van start gegaan en zal nog tot eind 2006 duren.

 

URBAL heeft tot doel de relatie stad en land op zowel sociaal, economisch als fysiek vlak te versterken. Daartoe heeft elke regio verschillende projecten op het gebied van economie en toerisme, zorg en welzijn en fysieke leefomgeving ingediend die in zogenaamde werkpakketten met een of meer buitenlandse partners zullen worden uitgevoerd. Zo wordt daadwerkelijk samengewerkt over de grenzen heen en kan kennis worden opgedaan en uitgewisseld. Vier werkpakketten dekken de verschillende thema’s en leiden naar verwachting tot nieuwe inzichten voor en tot versterking van de stad-land relatie.

 

In de provincie Overijssel gaat het om 10 projecten. Een daarvan is de plattelandsfair die door Stichting Proef het Platteland in samenwerking met North Yorkshire (Engeland) wordt georganiseerd.

 

Daarnaast wordt aan de hand van alle projecten van de 6 deelnemende regio’s onderzoek gedaan naar bestaande situaties van management, bestuur en strategische planning op het gebied van de stad-land relatie en worden ‘best practices’ in de praktijk getoetst.

 

Laat de Engelsen maar proeven…

 

Na een succesvolle uitwisseling in oktober 2004 en 2005, heeft Stichting Proef het Platteland, in 2006 weer de stoute schoenen aangetrokken. Opnieuw zijn de mannen met een stel enthousiaste ondernemers in het vliegtuig gestapt richting Engeland. Ook dit jaar in het, voor hen, bekende North Yorkshire. Echter was de bestemming niet een veilinghal in Skipton(2004), maar het prachtig kasteel in York genaamd Castle Howard.

Op dit Food and Drink festival hebben we ‘tuin van Nederland’ in een gezamenlijk tent weten te presenteren. Met een enige Nederlandse tint van ballonnen, vlaggetjes en de Nederlandse taal hebben we de aandacht van de Engelsen getrokken. Overijssel en haar streekproducten was een echte lekkernij voor de bezoekers. De producten die de ondernemers mee hadden, werden volop geproefd. Kaas, noten, bier en ook de worst was erg populair. Er werd niet alleen geproefd, ook zijn er weer interessante contacten gelegd en kwam de uitwisseling naar boven.

Na op zondag en maandag de Engelse bevolking enthousiast te hebben gemaakt, zijn we dinsdag op excursie geweest en hebben we ‘geproefd’ van het Engelse platteland. Het bleek dat de Engelse bevolking ook verder kijkt en de verbredende landbouw op zoekt. Kwaliteit en service zijn hier sleutelwoorden.

 

 

 

The first URBAL project, “Taste the Countryside” (2004)

After the official kick-off in Zwolle on 10th of June, 19th and 20th of June the first URBAL project is operational. Proef het Platteland a free translation of  “Taste the Countryside” took place in Heino.

 

Foundation Proef het Platteland

The vision of the foundation is to create a better way of communication and interaction between the rural and urban areas. To bring these two areas together we want to create opportunities for the exchange of knowledge and experiences to reduce the mutual misunderstanding. Create new businesses in the region of Salland but also stimulate international contact between the URBAL projects is one of the main goals of the foundation.

 

Breakfast

To have a good start of the event we organised a major breakfast with about 70 participants who represented the province of Overijssel, several municipalities in the region, all the URBAL projects of Overijssel, innovative entrepreneurs and our guests of North Yorkshire. During the breakfast Mr. Bert Neevel gave his vision over the relation between the urban and rural area. The guests had informel conversations and some interesting contacts have been made.  After the breakfast Mr. Piet Jansen, deputy of the Province of Overijssel, gave the official start of Proef het Platteland.

 

Taste the Countryside

After the official opening visitors were welcome to “Taste the Countryside” in several disciplines. Like a culinary plaza where people could taste of the local products which were prepared by professional cooks.  Kidzplaza whit an animal farm and several inflatable cushions to entertain the children. Agriculture and wood plaza with several demonstrations. Music plaza and  show piste with performances of singers and shows with horses, sheeps and dogs. The outdoor plaza with about 75 stalls of typical products of the rural area. The outdoor plaza is subdivided in local products presented by local producers, innovative entrepreneurs with new technologies for the rural area. To have a complete offer of products from the countryside there were several stalls with products for home and garden decoration, tourism and recreation.

 

To give the visitors the feeling of the countryside the event took place at a nostalgic farm, all the farmers of neighbourhood had their cows in the field and the visitors were invited to visit the organic pig farm of the neighbours and get an excursion from the farmer.

 

North Yorkshire

In the frame work of URBAL we arranged together with the County Council of North Yorkshire an input of region products of North Yorkshire. In total there where about 10 companies from North Yorkshire who presented their products and services. Although the time was very short to arrange this visit, we can look back at an interesting visit and this was a good start for new activities like a return visit to Skipton in October this year.

 

Publicity campaign

To promote Taste the Countryside in the urban area as well as the rural area we started a publicity campaign in the region of Zwolle, Apeldoorn and Deventer. To reach the potential visitors we made use of several media channels like advertising and editorials in newspapers and magazines, our own website, interviews on radio and television, publicity banners along the roads, posters en flyers in the centre of cities and large villages.

 

Conclusion

Although we had not the best wetter for an outdoor event, we can look back at a successful event which will be organised again in 2005. This way of communication and interaction between the urban and rural area gives a lot of opportunities for new businesses but it shows us that there is still a lot of work to do. Like I wrote before we are looking back at a good start of the URBAL input and we take the challenge to organise together with the County Council of North Yorkshire a return visit to the Skipton festival in October this year.

 

 

 “Taste the Countryside” 2005

The second edition of Taste the Countryside took place on 16th and 17th of July in Heino. And the fourth exchange of products, knowledge and people is realized on the countryside of Salland, Overijssel.

 

Continuing creating economic activities on the countryside

After 3 successful exchanges toward Heino and Skipton in 2004 and the visit to the Reydale festival in May this year, Proef het Platteland tried to accommodate entrepreneurs from Norway, Belgium and North Yorkshire. Unfortunately only entrepreneurs from North Yorkshire were able to visit Heino to present their region products for the Dutch visitors of the fair. Almost 4.500 people in de region between Zwolle and Deventer visited the fair.

Besides the direct selling to the visitors entrepreneurs from North Yorkshire and Overijssel set up trade of region products towards North Yorkshire. This was a result of the earlier visits to Skipton and Castle Howard.

 

Breakfast on the countryside

After the success of last year the breakfast is continued in 2005. The informal networking showed last year some interesting contacts between authorities and entrepreneurs of the countryside. About 85 representatives joint the breakfast to share their interests and knowledges. The participants represented the province of Overijssel, several municipalities in the region, all the URBAL projects of Overijssel, the entrepreneurs who jointed the exchanges to North Yorkshire, innovative entrepreneurs and our guests of North Yorkshire. Mr. Jaap Luchies of the Gibo Groep, an accountant organization give a presentation of mutual misunderstanding between authorities and entrepreneurs. He challenged the members of the breakfast to discus this hot issue. After the breakfast Mr. Piet Jansen, deputy of the Province of Overijssel, gave the official start of Proef het Platteland. Look at the picture!

 

Taste the Countryside

After the official opening of Mr. Piet Jansen visitors were welcome to “Taste the Countryside” in several disciplines. Comparing to the first edition, several issues changed to entertain the adults as well as the children.

The children were introduced to a the animals on the farm and adults enjoyed the fair to visit the 75 stalls of region products, demonstrations and workshops, farmersgolf, home and garden decoration and recreation and tourisme. Most of the stallholders came from Overijssel, but there were also entrepreneurs from other provinces of the Netherlands and even from Germany. The novelty of this year were the stallholders with new energy technologies. The presented new possibilities of Bio-diesel and central heating systems of the natural products like woodchips. This whole offer of products, local services, entertainment, kidsplaza and the knowledge and experiences gave the visitors the possibilities to get a good picture of the possibilities of the countryside. Besides this the entrepreneurs aware the understanding of the visitors.

 

To give the visitors the feeling of the countryside the event took place at a nostalgic farm, all the farmers of neighbourhood had their cows in the field and the visitors were invited to visit the organic pig farm of the neighbours and get an excursion from the farmer.

 

Publicity campaign

To promote Taste the Countryside in the urban area as well as the rural area we started a publicity campaign in the region of Zwolle, Apeldoorn and Deventer. To reach the potential visitors we made use of several media channels like advertising and editorials in newspapers and magazines, our own website, interviews on radio and television, publicity banners along the roads, posters en flyers in the centre of cities and large villages.

 

Conclusion

Looking back to the beginning in 2004 and the realized results after 1 year, we concluded we made progress not only by talking but by doing things like organizing exchanges and this event. Local entrepreneurs has to be taken of their farms and companies and show them what the possibilities and opportunities are for them. Concerning mutual misunderstanding between authorities and entrepreneurs we recognized a change in their way of thinking and acting. Also transnational serious businesses are set up to do trade in region products. This year showed us that there are a lot of opportunities to stimulate and create new economic activities on the countryside.