European Network of Cultural Centres (ENCC)

Closing the Gap roundtable one: Dendermonde

Dendermonde, Belgium
Ctg 01
Ctg 04
Ctg 03
Ctg 02
On January 25th, 2023, our Closing the Gap programme came to life with a first roundtable focused on the Flemish region.

Fifty years after the first official decree on cultural centres in Flanders, the aim of the event was to bring local cultural centres and policy makers at the same table to discuss present challenges and future synergies and fine-tune local cultural policy. The event was organised in cooperation with our member Dijk92, a network gathering nine municipal cultural centres in Flanders' Dender region.

In the morning, a delegation from the ENCC visited Cultuureel Centrum Stroming in Berlare and Cultuurhuis Belgica in Dendermonde, both part of the Dijk92 network and both highly involved in the cultural life of their communities.

In the afternoon, we were joined by various cultural operators from the region and delved into the topic of the day with an introduction to the ENCC by coordinator Sara Turra, and to the Closing the Gap programme by co-creator and ENCC advisory board member Piet Forger. Tom Van de Velde, director of Dijk92, gave an overview of the state of the art in the region and defined the scope of the discussion. Some of the main gaps and challenges were discussed, with contributions from participants and from ENCC's Chairman Ivo Peeters. Cultural Strategist Raluca Iacob, who contributed to creating the programme, then gave participants an overview of the different shapes regional cultural cooperation takes in other areas of Europe.

In the second part of the afternoon, participants gathered in working groups to tackle the issue from different perspectives. How to improve governance and enable a structural dialogue between civil society and the policy level? The conclusions were then presented by Piet Forger at an evening gathering with representatives from the local policy level.

Conclusions from this event will feed into the next roundtables, and ultimately into the drafting of our Closing the Gap advocacy sheets. Stay tuned for more news and do not hesitate to write to our coordinator Sara Turra at if you want to join the programme.

Participating Organisations:

  • Dijk92

  • Buggenhout Cultural Centre

  • Berlare Cultural Centre Stroming

  • Hamme Cultural Centre

  • Ninove Cultural Centre

  • Dendermonde Cultural Centre

  • BelgicaLebbeke Cultural Centre

  • Erpe-Mere Municipality

  • Leuven Municipality

  • Geraardsbergen Cultural Centre

  • Aalst Cultural Centre