NW Europe’s large conurbations and capital cities have historically acted as magnets for business-to business (B2B) activities. But medium sized cities have been less successful at attracting such firms, which are playing a growing role in the increasingly service sector dominated economy. The broad objective of the Bizz 2 Bizz Cities project is to attract B2B firms to locate in three NW European cities that need to diversify and boost their economies. The 3.8M Euro project also aims to cut long distance commuting and so reduce congestion in core metropolitan areas. Specifically, it seeks to achieve its goals by making nationally and internationally oriented business services companies aware of the opportunities and advantages of settling in the target regions/cities, such as new ICT communication possibilities and access to cheaper labour and buildings. This will involve a trans-national marketing exercise to B2B companies to identify companies considering relocation. The project will also aim to develop magnets of service sector employment eg around the Philips semi-conductor plan in Nijmegen.
The objectives are
- to make nationally and internationally oriented business services companies aware of the opportunities of settling in the target regions/cities and to persuade them to do so; these opportunities include a.o. new ICT communication possibilities, better access to (less expensive) labour, cheaper buildings,…
- by discovering the preferences of a lot of b-to-b companies and answering to them
- by building on the possibilities and the strength of the regions’ middle sized cities and of selected locations/sites with high potential and quality.
- To develop the selected sites as lighthouses and as magnets of service sector employment : in Nijmegen a magnet can be developed around the Philips semi-conductor plant, in Hasselt and in Amiens new high quality offices and ICT zones developments are planned in the Railway-station quarters.