Organisation - June 23, 2010

Head office moving out of town

The Wageningen UR head office is going to move from the Costerweg in Wageningen to the top three floors of the Atlas building at the edge of town. It will take at least a year before the board and corporate staff can move in to their new offices.

The top floors at Atlas
The main reasons for the move, decided by the board on Monday, are financial. Because of tightened fire prevention regulations and the renovations need to the roof, it would be relatively expensive to keep up the Costerweg building and the move onto campus is advantageous both financially and from the business point of view, says the board.
At the moment, several groups of ESG researchers are occupying the floors of Atlas that the board has in mind. They will move into Lumen and Gaia, where, according to board spokesman Simon Vink, there is enough space to meet the norm of 8.5 square metres per worker. The influx of the 150 or so corporate staff will make the use of the campus buildings more efficient, bringing down accommodation costs. The move is also a good step in the direction of a more sustainable organization. 'It means one whole building less to heat, light and maintain', explains Vink.
Lively
Wageningen city councillor Michiel Uitdehaag regrets the loss of the head office in the town centre, but he does understand the choice for the campus. 'Many Wageningers think it's a pity. The feel the presence of the head office adds to the liveliness of the town centre. But we understand the considerations of the board. It's not for us to say.' The councillor does not think the move will have consequences for the new land use plan being drawn up for the whole Duivendaal compound. 'Some years ago, Wageningen UR asked for a new designation that would allow for a broader range of uses of the buildings. Our council has decided to agree to that, but there won't be any housing, retail or catering outlets.'

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