Selwerd District Company
It has operated as a project agency for the district since 2014. The District Company strives to make the residents of the district the protagonists of the social and physical renewal of Selwerd. Via the 'Right to Challenge', citizens and associations have the right to ask the government to enable them to take responsibility for a certain public task in exchange for an operating budget. Facilitated by the District Company, residents of Selwerd have taken control of certain aspects of Groningen's services. As a result, the District Company contributes to the district’s social development, as well as to the development and possibilities of individual residents. As a result, residents can influence the further development of their living environment. The financial gains of the District Company are reinvested in the district and thus return to the residents in the form of social gains.
The District Company operates from the community centre, an empty school building, managed by the residents. The community centre is a breeding ground for local start-up initiatives, which are always established according to the principle of the 'right to challenge'. There are currently around 25 neighbourhood initiatives that create added value for the district. For example, there is a neighbourhood restaurant, a PC workshop, a neighbourhood concierge and a neighbourhood taxi, and entrepreneurial Selwerd that offers new entrepreneurs or those just starting out, facilities for work, meetings and workshops.
The District Company demonstrates a proactive approach to care in the district, exerting an impact both at a structural level and in the daily living environment of Selwerd’s residents. The District Company creates local employment for residents who are distanced from the regular labour market. In addition, it works with the housing cooperative so that residents have greater control of the management of the homes. The District Company has also established a partnership with the care institution in order to offer services to the neighbourhood in a coordinated manner, either in addition to or instead of existing services. Finally, the old school building has become a cosy meeting place, where highly diverse groups of all ages and cultures feel at home.
Municipality of Groningen, residents of Selwerd
housing, care, management, learning
organisational form, cultural change, policy innovation, ownership, good citizenship
Selwerd District Company
The District Company is a company by and for residents of the Selwerd district. The district company focuses on improving residents' quality of life.
photo: Wijkbedrijf Selwerd, Groningen 2015
GoudGroen episode 1
Themes such as greening and desealing, energy saving and sustainable food are key to the work of the District Company. For example, the District Company has a working group that takes care of residents' front gardens in order to provide more greenery.
photo: Jeen de Vos Producties, Groningen 2018