Neighborhood does not want an Urban Factory in the neighbourhood: ‘Nobody is waiting for it’

Residents of Tilburg-Noord are not pleased with the arrival of the new ‘Urban Factory’, which will settle in the district in the summer of 2023. Following an information meeting, residents have set up an action group: Tilburg Noord Samen. They demand a say in the plans.

The Urban Factory is to be located opposite the Ypelaerpark in Tilburg-North. It will be a place where the neighborhood and especially young people can develop in song, dance and drama. There will be a dance space of 280 square meters, a rehearsal room, meeting rooms and changing rooms. The plans have been ready for a while, but the residents were not aware of anything until last week.

“The municipality has not involved us in this plan. We were only invited to an information evening last week. The plans came as a surprise to many of us at the time,” says Rick Hof, one of the initiators of the Tilburg Noord Samen action group. There is a WOB request ready. The group wants more information about the plans and will collect signatures to get more say. The counter is now at 150 signatures.

Rick: “A center where young people can express themselves creatively sounds quite positive, of course. But during the information evening it turned out that hardly anyone from the neighborhood is waiting for it.” And that’s for a few reasons. The initiators believe that the Urban Factory should not be located in the middle of a residential area. Residents are afraid that it could attract loiterers from all over the city.

The Municipality of Tilburg admits that the residents are insufficiently involved in the plans, but does not share the fear of loitering youth. District alderman of Tilburg-Noord, Rik Grashoff: “We are going to do our homework again and talk more with local residents. But this initiative was conceived precisely to ensure that young people have more to do. This is not the only way, but it can help to reduce the nuisance.”

Grashoff cannot say whether the municipality is open to another location. However, these and other locations within Tilburg-North are being critically examined. “It is logical that if you want good facilities for young people, you should not place them outside a residential area,” Grashoff explains. As it stands now, the building will be located between Bellinistraat, Dirigentenlaan and Monteverdistraat.

The action group also emphasizes that in 2018 there were plans to build mid-range homes in the same area. The group is afraid that those plans have been brushed aside and will make way for the Urban Factory. But according to the alderman, residents do not have to worry about this: “In addition to the arrival of the Urban Factory, this location is also intended for housing. We are going to look closely at what kind of housing is needed.”

In any case, the action group will hand out the first signatures to the municipality on Thursday. Rick: “Give us a say and let us think along. The way the municipality is now acting is provoking resistance throughout the neighborhood.”