The local visit started at Urk’s Habour. After a short walk along the harbor, the King and Queen visited the Maritime Education Center. This education center connects the past with the future of Urk. The MBO school offers a wide range of courses in the maritime sector, such as fishing, inland shipping and merchant shipping. The Royal Couple visited some venues where lessons are given in net nets, fish processing and maintenance of marine engines. There was also a conversation with fishermen and representatives of maritime companies that are actively involved in the classes and training and maintenance of the school.
The King and Queen then were going to the Noordoostpolder Windpark. This is one of the largest wind farms in the Netherlands with windmills on the land and in the water (IJsselmeer). The park is a local initiative of 100 agricultural families and energy provider Innogy. The wind farm comprises 86 wind turbines that together produce 1.4 billion kWh of electricity. According to the initiators, this is enough to provide more than 400,000 households with electricity. At the wind farm, King and Queen were speaking with initiators and other stakeholders.
Next, the village of Nagele was visited. The village was designed in the 1950s by the architects like Rietveld, Van Eyck and Van Eesteren. The village breathed the post-war ideals of the New Build. Thus, the houses are placed in straight lines around a central green park.
To maintain the unique architecture of the village, a plan of action was made by and with residents and entrepreneurs from Nagele, the National Cultural Heritage Department, the province of Flevoland and the municipality of Noordoostpolder. The first results are visible. For example, a court of 32 workers’ homes has been purchased that will remain so for Nagele. In addition, streets are redeveloped and homes are refurbished with the architect’s original vision as a guide. Volunteers have a museum in a former church. Residents and farmers were talking to the King and Queen about their love for Nagele. After that, the Royal Couple walked through the village.
In Dronten the King and Queen visited the Staay Food Group factory. Vertical slate is used in this company: in closed rooms, 7 layers are interleaved under led lighting. This innovative method was developed in collaboration with Philips, Rijk Zwaan, HAS in Den Bosch, Wageningen University and the Aeres University. At the factory, potatoes, vegetables and fruit are also sliced into fresh produce delivered to supermarkets in Europe. The King and Queen were being guided by the factory and engage in a number of Polish labor migrants who make up most of the staff.
The regional visit concluded with a visit to De Meerpaal. The building, designed by architect Van Klingeren, was opened by Queen Juliana 50 years ago. The Meerpaal, among other things known from the television programs NCRV’s Zeskamp and Stuif’s, was about to be broken down at the end of last century. After a renovation, the Meerpaal was reopened in 2005 as a multifunctional facility for Dronten. The building offers a library, a large and small theater room, youth work, elderly work, cultural activities and a permanent exhibition about British Airgunners. The exhibition shows gifts from the aviators, given to the town of Dronten, for the hospitality of the Second World War. The exhibition is also designed to commemorate the lost flight crews.