On 13 September, construction work on the Greenport Horti Campus in Naaldwijk started. The new name was also unveiled: World of Westland. In a year’s time, 1,200 students will be able to attend classes, and 80 companies will be able to show their latest developments in the field of horticulture. World of Westland will become the number one global knowledge and innovation centre for the greenhouse industry.
Several hundred leading figures from the horticultural sector watched a three-dimensional presentation yesterday on the new building, which will be built on undeveloped land in front of the flower auction. The striking of the first pile of the building was interrupted by students, who wanted to mark the building envelope themselves. The contours were made visible with red and white ribbon.
The complex combines three functions: teaching, research and presentation. Besides senior secondary vocational education (MBO) students from Albeda College, ROC Mondriaan and Lentiz Education Group, the school will also offer space for higher professional education (HBO) colleges and research institutes. Cooperation between education and business has already started. A course in nutrition and health is planned, with assistance from Koppert Cress among others. Dutch Flower Group and Nature’s Pride will be giving input to the Trade and Logistics course. The building will be provided with a mechatronics room, a flower tie room, and a 300-seat auditorium.
Demokwekerij Westland (Westland Demo Nursery) will be leaving its current site in Zwethlaan in late 2017, and is building brand new research greenhouses with the latest technology. Manager Peet van Adrichem says, “Continuous and accelerated innovation is vital to maintain the Netherlands’ leading position in the world. We initiate and facilitate cultivation and technology innovation for the national and international horticulture sectors, so we thought it only logical that we should be part of World of Westland.”
The third function of World of Westland is as a demonstration and presentation area. 80 companies will be able to show their latest flowers, plants and technology, over an area of almost 10,000 m2. 80% of this space has already been rented out, to the satisfaction of Jaap van Duijn, one of the initiators.
World of Westland will also serve as a focus point for foreign visitors who come to Westland because of the horticultural sector. Mark Zwinkels of Greenport Food & Flower Xperience says, “They often don’t know where to start when they come to Westland. This is a place where they can orientate themselves.”
Source: Greenport Horti Campus/AD Westland. Artist impression: Greenport Horti Campus.