But, where will all the employees live?
The province of Drenthe hopes that a new Dutch cabinet will opt to locate a national housing agency in Assen. The NAM (a 50/50 owned company between Exxon Mobil and Shell, which extracts gas from under the North) will be leaving the city in two or three years.
As reported by RTV Drenthe, the wish is stated in a letter to informateur Mariette Hamer (currently charged with finding a new Dutch coalition) that was signed by King’s Commissioner Jetta Klijnsma and chairman Rikus Jager of the Association of Drenthe Municipalities.
“If a new cabinet chooses to establish a government agency – such as a new Ministry of Housing – in Assen, it will provide a tremendous long-term economic boost for the region, which will also partly alleviate the pain of the imminent departure of NAM headquarters,” the letter said. “Because it is precisely in our economically vulnerable province that government jobs are of great importance; with them we can offer knowledge workers perspective.”