Valspar BV

“Flevoland is new land. That gives it an edge. Almere and Lelystad lead in the field of IT. The industrial estate on which we are located is fully equipped with fibre optic data communication; the medium of the future.

The physical infrastructure is good, too. Virtually our entire production is earmarked for export. We travel widely and often host overseas visitors. Schiphol is three quarters of an hour away from Lelystad by car or train. Within the foreseeable future, we will even be able to fly to all kinds of European destinations from Lelystad Airport. Fantastic!

Lelystad is also well located for the ports of Rotterdam and Antwerp, as well as for freight to and from Scandinavia and Southern and Eastern Europe. In addition, the Hanzelijn railway line between Lelystad and Zwolle is currently under construction.

That superb infrastructure provides a wide reach in terms of recruitment; we have people working here from just about all parts of the Netherlands.”

Clients in over a hundred countries are supplied with automotive coatings from Valspar bv. (formerly De Beer Lakfabrieken) in Lelystad. Since 2004, it has been part of the two-hundred-year-old stock exchange listed Valspar Corporation U.S.A., one of the largest paint manufacturers in the world.

Production of coatings commenced in 1951 and nearly thirty years later, the current production plant was opened in Lelystad. The Dutch head office, Training and Information Centre (TIC) and laboratory are located there, too. In 1982, colour mixing systems were introduced to the market and mid-2000 saw the first water-based products.

Wemmers: “De Beer Lakfabrieken dates back to 1910. It relocated from Voorschoten to Flevoland in 1980. At that stage we were unable to expand further on the ‘old land’ due to environmental restrictions. However, Flevoland offered us that opportunity. We were one of the first businesses to set up on the Noordersluis industrial estate in Lelystad. We have never looked back. 95 Percent of our production is earmarked for export. Transportation is via the ports of Rotterdam and Antwerp and by freight to and from Scandinavia and Southern and Eastern Europe. Lelystad is well located for both.”

Nieuwenhuizen: “In our Training and Information Centre (TIC) in Lelystad, we offer clients from across the world training programmes in the correct handling and application of our products. Our technical advisors visit our distributors and end users across the world to deliver on-site training and demonstrations. Schiphol is three quarters of an hour away from Lelystad by car or train. Within the foreseeable future we will even be able to fly to all kinds of European destinations from Lelystad Airport. Fantastic!

Wemmers: “In addition, the Hanzelijn railway line between Lelystad and Zwolle is currently under construction. That superb infrastructure also provides a wide reach in terms of recruitment. We are always looking for specialists. We have 150 people working here from just about all parts of the Netherlands, from a radius of approximately one hundred kilometres. People from the polder here, from the north and further east, and from the Veluwe have a good work ethic; they possess a can-do attitude. And they travel against the traffic flow.”

During the course of the years, Valspar has benefited from various European subsidies provided by Brussels to stimulate further development in the new district of Flevoland. Wemmers: “We received a subsidy for our new build, for the development of our water-based coatings, and for language tuition for our employees. We’ve been dominant in water-based coatings (non-solvent based coatings) for about six or seven years. They degrade better, are less harmful to the user, and are weather and solvent resistant.”

What do Valspar’s overseas visitors think of this region? Nieuwenhuizen: “Flevoland is new land. They find it difficult to comprehend that we are living and working on the ocean floor, everyone wants to see locks and dykes. That’s what the Dutch are known for; that gives us an edge. But of course Flevoland is more than that. For example, Almere and Lelystad lead in the field of IT. The industrial estate on which we are located is fully equipped with fibre optic data communication; the medium of the future. There is no doubt that Flevoland will continue to grow and we will grow along with it; we want to double our production output within seven years.”

Visit: www.de-beer.com/en/

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