The Steam Engine Museum in Medemblik has had some difficult years. Logically due to corona, but also 2022 did not bring the desired visitor numbers. So action had to be taken to prevent financial problems. But there are plenty of ambitions, just like the hope for better times.

    Steam engine museum hopes for 2023 after lean year – NH News

    2019, the year in which the museum existed for 150 years, saw a record number of just over 20,000 visitors. In addition, there were plans to create a new visitor center. But corona messed everything up.

    20 percent fewer visitors

    But 2022 has also not brought what was hoped for. “We had included 18,000 visitors in our budget, it became almost 16,000. That is almost 20 percent less.” Action was taken immediately. The programming was limited, and some parts were dropped,” said director Harry de Bles.

    And where other museums had to deal with more and more visitors in the course of time, this was not the case at the Steam Engine Museum. But the museum director did see bright spots. “Our Lichtjesavond event had another visitor record. So that means that we do matter.”

    Text continues below the photo.

    Impression of the new visitor center of the Stoommachinemuseum – Stoommachinemuseum

    But the museum has ambitions. Such as the renovation of the visitor center. “We had to stop that temporarily.” And not without consequences. Because in the meantime, construction costs skyrocketed. “We have reduced the plan and offered it again to our subsidy providers. But we are hopeful that we can start building this year,” says De Bles.

    Visitor center must give new impetus

    They are still trying to raise money for the interior through fundraising. It should lead to the museum becoming more attractive. “Now the visitor center is a kind of football canteen. But soon there will be a steam lab where children can use steam engines themselves. Or where groups can meet. We want to offer an atmospheric steam atmosphere.”

    Text continues below the photo

    NH News/Maarten Edelenbosch

    And the plans don’t stop there. Ultimately, the interior of the museum, as well as the outdoor area, will have to be overhauled. Plans for the longer term, because money has to be found for that first.

    “We think we can grow to 25,000 visitors with this, the maximum we can have here,” said the museum director. “The website will also be updated this year, which will be in February. So all in all, we have good hopes for 2023. We hope to attract 18,000 visitors so that we can slowly get back to that flow of 2019.”

    The Steam Engine Museum is still open to the public this weekend. It will then close for maintenance until mid-February.

    This is a message from the joint West Frisian news editors

    More news from West Friesland?
    💬 Stay informed via our Facebook group News from West Friesland. Comment, discuss and share your news
    📧 Send us your tips via [email protected] or app us via 06-23405405
    ✏️ See a typo? Let us know at [email protected]