Expat Centre services are in demand, time to go independent

10 July 2019

The Expat Centre Leiden (ECL) has become a fixture in the Leiden region. Over the past years, the role of ECL in attracting, welcoming and retaining talented ‘internationals’ has become increasingly significant. Consequently, all founding partners readily adopted the concept of an independent ECL, and a financial plan up to 2020 was soon developed. According to Martijn Bulthuis of Stichting Stadspartners Leiden, also director of Leiden Marketing: ‘The Expat Centre will separate from Economie071, and continue as an independent organisation. I am proud of this result, and greatly appreciative of the trust our partners have placed in us.’

On track
Jan Nieuwenhuis, alderman of Oegstgeest: ‘In 2016, the Expat Centre became one of the first tangible projects of Economie071, the economic alliance of the Leiden region. Economie071 was founded with the objective of improving the business climate in the region. The efforts of ECL soon proved to be fruitful, as is illustrated by the increased number of independent contractors and businesses in the region today. We would like to congratulate Corine van der Ceelen of ECL and Martijn Bulthuis of Leiden Marketing on achieving this great milestone. The improvement of the international business climate is right on track, and the Expat Centre has been instrumental in making it possible.’

Future ambitions
Corine van der Ceelen, Expat Centre manager: ‘During the first phase, we focused mainly on internationals who live and work in the Leiden region. We have since developed a solid range of services available to internationals. We will now start to expand our focus to include organisations. We believe that we can contribute even more to the improvement of the business climate in the region by offering services to companies, knowledge institutes and agencies (such as ESA ESTEC). Improving the business climate has become increasingly important in light of current affairs such as the developments concerning Brexit and the EMA. This new focus and its associated events will require a budget. In order to achieve its goals, ECL will follow four main lines of action: attracting and retaining talent, building and uniting the community, a red carpet approach to hospitality and exploring strategies based on monitoring.’

Expat services
The Expat Centre Leiden is located in the Tourist Information Office at Stationsweg 26 in Leiden. The ECL welcomes all expats from the Leiden region for services such as registering with the municipality, and provides extensive information on moving to the Leiden region: housing, insurance, schooling, social life and becoming acquainted with the international community. ECL also works closely with regional partners that offer additional services for internationals and companies.