Meppel examines the construction of an amusement park with shows about Drenthe’s culture and history | Meppel

Meppel-Noord can get an amusement park. No focus on attractions, but with performances and shows about (local) history and culture. The municipality of Meppel and the province of Drenthe are investigating the possibilities.

This appears from a document that the college recently sent to the city council. The municipality will conduct the investigation of the possible location, while the province will investigate the possibility. Drenthe wants to supplement its ‘existing offer of day and overnight recreation’: this research takes care of that.

People in the region should not expect another Walibi from the theme park. It can be read that the park will not focus on attractions, but will be characterized by performances and shows about the history of Drenthe and the Netherlands and ‘cultural-historical values’.

Nerd

For the location, the municipality is looking at the southern part of ‘Noord IV’, an area northeast of the city, ‘in the armpit of the A32 and N371’ up to the Arendsweg, bordering the Westerveld. This is currently still agricultural land, but for the future it has already been designated as ‘business park, energy landscape, recreation, nature and water with associated facilities, all non-agricultural’.

In the document, the municipality writes that the proposed business park will then have a different interpretation. The infill with an amusement park would result in a ‘very natural layout’ with ‘minimal buildings’. The municipality sees this as a big difference compared to ordinary business parks.

A representation of the ‘North IV’ area, which the municipality has on its website with information about the meetings about the area in question. © Meppel Municipality

85 football pitches

The research focuses on a park of 60 hectares – the size of 85 football pitches. For comparison: the amusement park Walibi Holland in Biddinghuizen covers around 40 hectares. The Slagharen amusement park is slightly larger than 80 hectares in its entirety.

Previous exploration of such a theme park led to the conclusion that it can have a very positive effect on the local economy with a lot of direct and indirect employment. Already existing facilities and services would also benefit. Meppel has a ‘regional function’ that could be further strengthened with the park.

Amusement park Slagharen in archive image from 2020. Slagharen is about twenty hectares larger than the intended location of the eventual amusement park in Meppel.  Unlike Slagharen, that theme park would not focus on attractions.
Amusement park Slagharen in archive image from 2020. Slagharen is about twenty hectares larger than the intended location of the eventual amusement park in Meppel. Unlike Slagharen, that theme park would not focus on attractions. © Frank Uijlenbroek

‘Competitive Sensitive’

If you want to know exactly which shows about the history of Drenthe or Meppelkultur will be shown later, you have to be patient. The parties are no longer disclosing further details at this time “due to competitive and commercial reasons”.

The municipal council therefore calls it unusual to communicate about the state of affairs at this time, but has nevertheless wanted to be open to the municipal council and those involved. There have also been several resident meetings about the implementation of ‘Nord IV’. Any plans for an amusement park will become part of this participatory project.

“No” is also an answer

The ‘coming months’ will be used to finalize the location and feasibility studies. There should be more clarity around the decision by mid-2023. “No, not a theme park” is also a possible outcome, the document states.

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