Rob van Gijzel

Mayor Rob van Gijzel is negotiating with the government on the establishment of an English language theater in Eindhoven. Such a theater must contribute to an atmosphere in the city where internationals feel more at home. In addition, Van Gijzel wants to expand opening hours of the shops in the city: “It would be very good if the shops would remain opened until around 10 at night.”

Van Gijzel said this today at the presentation of E52’s Expat Top10 awards.

The search for a Government grant for the establishment of an English theater not only fits in Van Gijzel’s strive for better facilities for internationals, but also in his earlier expressed frustration over the fact that relatively few Government subsidies for Culture flow to Eindhoven. “We suffer from a great inequality. Of all the 21 national museums, there is not one in the South. And out of the Gemeentefonds subsidies for culture, sports and urban facilities we only receive €1,53 per capita. For Rotterdam and Utrecht is no less than €140, Amsterdam even gets € 195. One hundred ninety-five euros! That’s 127 times as much as we get!”

One in five Eindhovenaren was born abroad, Van Gijzel said today. That means that, according to the mayor, the city has a duty to offer pleasant living conditions to that group of people. An English theater is part of it. Van Gijzel: “And by that I don’t mean an English-language program in an existing theater, no, a really English theater.”

Research by the Planbureau voor de Leefomgeving (PBL) shows that Eindhoven ranks high on five of the six critical factors in the development of an “innovation environment”: local buzz, global pipelines, entrepreneurial dynamism, branding and governance of innovation. The only factor where this is not the case, is ‘urbanity’: “An ideal urban environment for innovation has plenty of cultural facilities, is open seven days a week and 24 hours a day, and offers a pleasant living environment,” said PBL-researcher Otto Raspe.

logo expat top10The next two weeks E52 publishes portraits of the winners of the Top10 Expat-election.

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About the author

Author profile picture Bart Brouwers is co-founder and co-owner of Media52 BV, the publisher of