|Surface area||6.183 ha|
Hengelo is a multifaceted medium-sized town. Impressive because of its rich industrial history, its present activities and its plans for the future. Remarkable because of its central location and mixture of corporation housing, characteristic garden villages and spacious residential areas and surprising because of its many stores of national repute, cultural activities, various events and catering establishments.
Compact and complete
Hengelo has its residents and visitors a lot to offer. A magnificent theatre, a variety of stores of national repute and modern parking facilities around the city centre. For a short rest there are the numerous friendly and inviting cafés and restaurants, while real peace and quiet can be found in the immediate surroundings like for instance in the extensive nearby Twickel estate or the secluded countryside around the town.
Hengelo offers a variety of possibilities for pleasant living. In Slangenbeek, the green and spacious new suburb, in a modern apartment or town house. And no matter where you live, the town centre is always nearby. In the housing blocks adjacent to the ring-road designed by Pi de Bruijn, the well known Dutch architect, or near the centre in Thiemsland. Or maybe you prefer Tuindorp ‘t Lansink, one of the finest garden villages in the Netherlands, which was developed in the ‘20s by the industrialist C.T. Stork. In Hengelo the choice is yours.
The modern town-centre offers a variety of shops. National retail chains together with many typical original quality shops guarantee pleasant shopping in all branches. Especially in the field of fashion the town has a sound reputation to maintain. Highly recommended is the open air market on Wednesdays and Saturdays on the main square in the town-centre, which is considered one of the best in the Netherlands.
A lively town
Hengelo is known all over the Netherlands for the Fanny Blankers Koen Stadion where many a world record is set during the annual FBK Games. Also the entertainment facilities attract people from all over the region. The friendly cafés, restaurants and discotheques have something to offer for everybody. There is the modern cinema right in the centre where you can enjoy a good movie. Cultural activities feature regularly in the Waterstaatskerk which has been converted into a music hall and of course in the contemporary Rabo theatre designed by Jan Hoogstad, another famous Dutch architect. Open air swimming facilities welcome you on a hot summer’s day. Finally Hengelo offers a variety of large and smaller activities. The book market in Tuindorp, the art exhibition Art Twente, the international street theatre festival and the annual 'Night of Hengelo' are certainly worth visiting.
Central location in the region of Twente
Hengelo is located at the junction of the A1 and A35 motorways and is served by the Twente canal and the international railway net. Because of its strategic position Hengelo is considered the centre of Twente. The business sector makes the most of this central location. The shops at Westermaat Plein for instance are highly regionally oriented and the Container Terminal Twente handles cargo from a large area. Not only its 'physical accessibility' makes Hengelo an attractive town for establishing new businesses. Companies are also mutually accessible and together establish networks for exchange of knowledge.
Educational and training facilities
Hengelo grew big because of its metallurgical industry, which traditionally required highly trained workers. Up till now the city offers a wide range of occupational and technical training courses at the Regional Educational Centre (ROC van Twente). Between Hengelo and the neighbouring city of Enschede lies the University of Twente, where studies focus on technical and applied sciences of Technology, while the Saxion Academy offers a variety of courses for higher vocational training.
Industrial activity everywhere
Because of its central location, industrial roots and excellent logistic infrastructure Hengelo is an attractive town for internationally oriented companies like Thales, Akzo Nobel, Siemens, Delaval, Stork Plastic Machinery and Eaton. Also the medium and—small-scale industry and the service sector are well represented.
The Westermaat industrial park (190 hectares) is still being developed. A combination of leading companies like RTV Oost, the Van der Valk hotel and congress centre, Eaton and IKEA shows that Hengelo focuses on a well-thought industrial policy for the future.
Between central station and the Twente canal lies the 'Hart van Zuid'. This, at present industrial complex, covering 50 hectares, is to make way for a modern multifunctional town area, where work, living, education, culture and recreation will be combined with the characteristic industrial atmosphere. Old factories are to be used for new purposes. The Regional Education Centre (ROC van Twente) for instance has established a modern community college in the former Stork foundry and also the HEIM technique museum has a beautifull restored accommodation in this area.
The World Trade Center Association has authorized the city of Hengelo to establish a World Trade Center at Hengelo. This World Trade Center will be the 9th established in the Netherlands. The center will be an attractive business location for private enterprises and entrepreneurs in the region in the Eastern part of the Netherlands. The actual building activities are expected to start around the year 2013.
Improvement of the town
But more is happening in Hengelo. The town also has ambitions in the architectonic field. Within the framework of the European Contest for young architects (Europan), a design for the redevelopment of O-kwadraat (an area near the town-centre) was awarded a first prize. Where the former Huys Hengelo used to be a sophisticated work of art will be erected bringing the present and the past together. Tuindorp ‘t Lansink has been listed as protected view of a village so that this cultural-historically, architectonically and planologically valuable area will be conserved for the future.
See you in Hengelo!
The best way to get to know Hengelo is of course to visit the town. But you can also visit one of our websites where you find among other things information about the municipality of Hengelo, a list of events, the projects and pictures of the town-centre. You are cordially invited!
Dutch government in English
An English language website on government in the Netherlands is launched by Overheidslinks.nl. This website has for several years been the independent website concerning Dutch government and politics. With the English language edition this information is now also accessible for international visitors of the site.