You can see them tower above the high pastures as you travel through the region: the brick factory stacks of deserted factory buildings. The former De Toekomst strawboard factory in Scheemda used to be that kind of disconsolate reminder of the industrial revolution. Until recently that is, because De Toekomst will live on as a distinctive events venue.
It’s true: the old strawboard factory is far too interesting to be demolished. Maybe this was difficult to see when the machines were still there rusting away among a massive number of young trees sprouting up in the empty halls. But this eye-catcher in the countryside, which is also reminiscent of the grain past of the region, was given a new purpose. Everything has been repaired, according to the old industrial look and feel where possible. Instead of stripping it and starting all over, the steam boilers, millstones and drive wheels were retained. The factory thus kept its unalloyed charm.
Stubborn wilfulness has its place in the industrial atmosphere. Consider a food truck festival or large regional market, a conference with a special touch or an artistic festival. The counter-cultural Grasnapolsky music festival was held for the first time in the factory building of De Toekomst, and was a huge success. Full of atmosphere and a little bit rough around the edges; this suits Groningen to a T.