Building plans for the Incubator, Techno Hall and business centre on campus may be at risk. Businesses at the Agro Business Park object to the plans. The protest comes from the owner and users of the existing incubator at the ABP.
According to director Bert Tournois of Holland Food Ventures, who initiated the protest, there is enough space for new and start-up companies at the ABP and elsewhere in the region. There are already disused premises on the ABP. Tournois therefore feels more thought should be given to the effects of building on the campus. ‘Especially in view of the fact that a big subsidy is needed to make the plan feasible,’ he writes in a response to the development plan for the incubator on campus. ‘We want to prevent very negative effects on companies and private investments which have to manage without this subsidy.’
Tournois is referring to the subsidy of three million euros which the province of Gelderland is putting into the development of the incubator on the campus. That subsidy is crucial to the feasibility of the plan. The support is conditional on construction starting this year. So there is no time for delay. Campus manager Petra Caessens says there is no question of that at the moment. ‘This is a point of view on the development plan. The city council will have to refute that first. If after that it comes to an official objection to the development plan, then there could be a delay. Then we would have to consult the province about how the subsidy could be retained.’
Caessens does not agree with the criticisms from Tournois and his colleagues. She sees no conflict between the plans on campus and the ABP. ‘We are targeting a different kind of company. We have no intention of poaching from the ABP.’