“A glimmer of hope” and “light at the end of the tunnel for this headache case”. The Eindhoven City Council is cautiously optimistic about the Muziekgebouw’s rescue plan for the.
However, the political groups remain concerned, because the institution still has considerable money worries and therefore quickly “has to keep its own pants up”.
For ten years now, the Muziekgebouw has been struggling with major financial problems. All kinds of things were tried to get the music venue out of the red, but with no success. At the end of last year, the City Council came up with a rescue plan.
Six parties set aside €1.2 million for the ailing Muziekgebouw. This money is to be used to renovate the adjoining Heuvel shopping centre too. The Municipality is not the only one fitting the bill.
The site’s owner, real estate company, CBRE, the province, and the regional business community are helping out too. A million euros will also be made available from the so-called Regiodeal. This is a cache of money for strengthening the business climate of the high-tech Eindhoven region.
‘It is a bandaid’
The City Council is pleased that the plan provides some breathing space for the Muziekgebouw. But that is all it is doing, say several political parties – buying time. After all, the €2.2 million will only bail the Muziekgebouw out for 2020 and 2021. “This is not yet a conclusive solution”, PvdA Councillor, Arnold Raaijmakers, says.
CDA Councillor, Niels Groot, adds “A solution is in sight far in the distance. We stopped the leak for a moment. Now work needs to be done on a real future perspective”. LPF Councillor, Rudy Reker, is also critical. “This a temporary solution. It is a bandaid”.
The groups feel the ball is mainly in the Muziekgebouw’s court. It must ensure the venue will be financially healthy from 2022 onwards. That means a balanced budget. The rental arrears of €1,5 million must be paid too. “The Muziekgebouw itself has done far too little to repair the leak”, Geert Geerts, of Leefbaar Eindhoven says.
“The organisation expects others to solve the problem every time. It is now really time for action”, Raaijmakers adds, “The Muziekgebouw has to provide more income, with sponsors or more visitors. Or money has to be saved. They have to keep their own pants on, and the Municipality has to keep a very sharp eye on that”.
Tackling the vacancies in the Heuvel
The Muziekgebouw not only needs to clean up its act. There is also an improvement plan for the Heuvel shopping centre. The intention is that, from 2022, the complex will be converted into an ‘attractive residential area for all sectors of the population. Living, working, shopping, culture, and socialising in a contemporary setting come together’.
The Municipal Board also wants to involve other organisations in the city. The idea can count on the City Council’s support. “It is good that the Heuvel is involved. There are many vacant shops there now. Shopkeepers are moving out. Something has to be done”, Piet der Kinderen, of 50Plus, agrees.
Councillor Yasin Torunoglu sees opportunities for the Muziekgebouw and the shopping mall. “With the extra millions we are investing now, we are buying peace and space. We now have two years to build a new perspective. This is being done with the property owner, CBRE, the province, and the Muziekgebouw, among others. It is important that we immediately do something about the problems in the Heuvel”.
Editor: Melinda Walraven