Start up, expand and succeed in Almere and Lelystad
Almere boasts 42 kilometres of coastline, a rich natural environment of lakes and waterways and impressive modern architecture. Built on land reclaimed from the IJsselmeer lake, it’s located only 20 minutes from Amsterdam’s city centre, yet wide expanses of space. Just 30 kilometres further north, Lelystad is another youthful city with water flowing through its heart and positive business opportunities at every turn.
Almere is a city with ambition. Since it was founded in 1976, it has become the most original and exemplary of the Netherlands’ ‘new towns’. It has been one of the fastest growing cities in Europe and now has a population of roughly 211,000 residents, while remaining energetic, green and sustainable. And Almere’s expansion continues apace: 60,000 new homes are planned to be built by 2030. There’s plenty of space to accommodate offices, warehouses and business parks, too. Simply put, there’s an incredibly strong entrepreneurial spirit in the region, with high numbers of businesses trading regionally, nationally and internationally.
The area that includes Almere and Lelystad maintains an innovative outlook and a perpetual attitude of regeneration and creative invention. Its urban planners and architects look to the future, meaning cutting-edge international companies are increasingly attracted to the region.
Photo: The region is known for its cutting-edge architecture
USPs for business
- Accessible: 20-35 minutes from Amsterdam city centre
- Business friendly: Almere and Lelystad welcome and help new businesses to set up and settle
- Infrastructure: Excellent connections by road, rail and air
- Modern: Two young cities with an innovative approach to spatial planning and architecture
- Room to grow: space is plentiful with endless options for businesses and logistics
- Multinational: A talented workforce on the doorstep, with housing and schools for international talent
- Ready for the future: Almere is home to more than 4,000 students
How to get there
Travelling to Amsterdam by train is fast and convenient – it takes just 20 minutes from Almere and 35 minutes from Lelystad – providing access to many Dutch cities and a direct train connection to Amsterdam Airport Schiphol; Lelystad is connected on the same line. There is high-quality access by road, too: the A6 motorway heads north through Almere and Lelystad, towards northern Dutch cities and Germany; southbound traffic makes the most of the newly improved motorway network to quickly connect to Amsterdam, Schiphol and other major Dutch cities. Lelystad Airport will soon offer international flights.
Who is here?
Large internationals can be found in Almere. They include the production facility and the headquarters of the Yakult Group in Europe, the European headquarters of engine manufacturer Yanmar, and Mitsubishi Turbo Engines. These big names from Japan are accompanied by Dutch businesses such as Voiceworks and Elements Interactive. The region is also home to Csmart, the global training centre of Carnival Corporation, the world’s largest leisure travel company. In total, more than 18,000 businesses, of which 150 are international companies, have set up shop in Almere, employing more than 80,000 people. And Almere still has plenty of space to grow, providing numerous possibilities for companies that want to open offices or buy land to build warehouses and distribution centres.
The region’s abundance of space means it’s an ideal location for business parks and logistics centres. For example, Business park Stichtsekant hosts modern distribution centres for regional and national markets and is just a half-an-hour drive from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, the Port of Amsterdam and the Utrecht region. And the Lelystad Airport Businesspark (LAB) is a 140-hectare centre that is home to bicycle manufacturer Giant, car builder Donkervoort, and the Spanish fashion giant Inditex, which includes brands such as Zara, Pull&Bear and Bershka. The site has extensive plots with permission to build up to 30-metres high. Inditex is currently building an enormous distribution centre – the Netherlands’ biggest logistics development.
Small- and medium-sized companies are also busy in Almere and Lelystad. As a breeding ground for business growth, the region is increasingly popular with international app builders and digital startups looking to make the most of the Amsterdam Area’s startup and scale-up ecosystem.
Prevalent industries, including sub-sectors
The number of companies in Almere and Lelystad is growing steadily. The majority of businesses are in wholesale and retail, business services and healthcare, followed by IT/tech, and engineering and construction.
Good for business
The region around Almere and Lelystad has an abundance of affordable space for businesses. Whether it’s for offices, European headquarters, data or distribution centres, Almere and Lelystad have the space, the workforce and the talent, and that all within 30 minutes from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and the centre of Amsterdam. Prices for plots are attractive and regulations are business-friendly. A high-capacity glass fibre network for domestic and business use is available.
For data centres, the province of Flevoland has direct connections to the Amsterdam Internet Exchange (AMS-IX) and enough energy to power data-hungry businesses.
Almere is part of amsterdam inbusiness, the official foreign investment agency of the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area. amsterdam inbusiness assists international companies with establishing and expanding their operations in the Amsterdam Area, helping them create a convincing business case for setting up offices in the area. This service is free, strictly confidential and without a hidden agenda.
Easy connections to Amsterdam and affordable housing make Almere and Lelystad highly popular with families and young professionals alike. The small, safe neighbourhoods, surrounding countryside with its green, open spaces and excellent infrastructure mean the quality of life is very high. A wide variety of cultural events and festivals take place throughout the year. The region boasts more than 300 indoor and outdoor sports facilities, including water sports, and more than a hundred sports clubs. Almere has two international schools and the region is home to a lively international community with various social groups and clubs.
IN Amsterdam’s one-stop-shop registration is also available in the city of Almere, meaning international newcomers get an easy start and can feel at home quickly. To find out more about the region, visit thisisalmere.com.