5 Million Euros will be pumped into the Frisian economy
Translated by Thomas Ansell
The sum of money will be used for a diverse range of purposes, reports the Leeuwarder Courant, but the general goal is to provide a ‘short in the arm’ for villages, businesses, and institutions.
On Tuesday morning, the Frisian provincial council presented their action plan, with 11 new Coronavirus-related regulations, however the plans haven’t actually been passed by the council yet- and a debate on them will be held at the end of this month.
The hospitality industry will get the largest slice of funding: Deputy Avine Fokkens (VVD) has said that 1 million euros will be made to underpin and support the tourism and recreational sectors. Each business or institution could be able to get 1,500 euros to make their locations ‘Corona-proof’; for example through plexiglass screens, or special equipment. Fokkens also announced that 200,000 euros will be spent on a new marketing campaign: “we hope that we can have as many tourists as possible in Friesland over the summer”, she said.
Around 550,000 euros will be spent on the cultural sector, with the dubious aim of getting as many ‘blockbusters’ to the Province as possible. This seems mainly aimed at further supporting the tourist sector, and no plans have been put forward to support grass-roots culture makers, or smaller institutions.
A further half a million euros has been set aside for village and sports associations: to try and improve quality of life in Friesland’s various smaller villages and settlements. Deputy Sander de Rouwe (CDA) struck an odd nationalistic note in his announcement, saying that he wants to see a particular focus on Frisian sports. “We want young people to participate in Fjierljeppen and Kaatsen”, he said.
Deputy Sietske Poepjes has put forward only 100,000 euros to support local media. The money will be classically dripped through the sector through the purchasing of advertising space, in order to help outlets cash-flows. The advertising space will be used to “tell the story of Friesland”, says Poepjes.
One especially helpful idea is the Province helping companies with the costs of their interns; on the condition that businesses then keep the interns on as staff-members. Firms may apply for up to 3,000 euros to pay for interns at LBO, MBO, HBO, and WO education stages. Those offering internships to PhD’s can apply for 8,000 euros. The total pot is around 325,000 euros.
In order to try and help with general skill levels, the Province has created a voucher scheme to help companies that want to give their staff more training or to support employee development. The various stimuli will be further developed: naturally with a focus on the nebulous ‘innovation’. There will be an ‘innovation fund’, and an ‘innovation matrix’, and all investment must be geared towards the future.