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The municipality of Leek


With a surface area of over 6,600 hectares (16,500 acres), the municipality of Leek is a relatively expansive, rural municipality to the south-west of the city of Groningen, in the province of the same name. The municipality borders on the municipality of Groningen, but also on the provinces of Friesland and Drenthe. The landscape most closely resembles Drenthe. Although the north-west reminds us of the open Groningen countryside, most of the municipality is characterised by a green patchwork landscape formed by small parcels of pastures and cultivated land surrounded by tree banks. The landscape is more open in the north-west, more wooded in the south-west. Leekstermeer lake, with its reed collar, lies on the north-eastern border of the municipality. An important access route is the A7 expressway Groningen-Heerenveen (Amsterdam).

Number of inhabitants

The municipality of Leek houses around 19,000 people, more than 15,000 of whom live in the Leek-Tolbert area; the others in the more agricultural villages of Zevenhuizen (±2,800 inhabitants), Midwolde (±450 inhabitants), Lettelbert (±200 inhabitants), Oostwold (±680 inhabitants), Enumatil (±380 inhabitants) and Boerakker (±30 inhabitants).

Leek, a blossoming municipality

Following its allocation as an industrial centre in 1959, Leek underwent rapid growth as a regional employment centre. The largest portion of jobs being in industry (27% of the total), followed by trade, catering and repairs companies (21%) and health- and welfarecare (12%). Industry has grown healthily in Leek over the past years, with the highest percentage growth of the province of Groningen.


In terms of education, the municipality offers a great variety of types of schools. Besides the standard secondary education establishments, there is also a Regional Music School and a Cultural Centre in 'De Oude Ulo', offering a wide range of courses. The Oude Ulo is managed by the Foundation for Social, Cultural and Educational work, and organises many activities in the field of social, cultural and educational work for children, young people and adults.

The political organisation

The municipal council of Leek constitutes a great variety of political parties. The council has seventeen members coming from the following parties: PvdA - Labour (5 seats), CDA - Christian Democrats (3 seats),  VVD People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (3 seats), Christen Unie - Christian Union (2 seats), Groen Links - Green Party (2 seats) and D66 - Democrats '66 (2 seats)..

The main tasks of the council are the formulation and amendment of the budgets. The council also controls the various administrative bodies within the municipal organization. Generally speaking, the council meets on the last Monday of the month, the meetings being public unless a closed part is required. Elections take place once every four years.

There is one advisory committee. These committees exist of members of the municipal council:
The general public has the right to speak at these meetings.

The college of mayor and aldermen - the daily management of the municipality - meets every Tuesday in principle. Municipal council authorities may be delegated to the college, which in turn must give account and information to the municipal council.

In Leek, the college consists of the mayor and three aldermen. The portfolios are distributed among the mayor and aldermen in each term of office. Following the municipal elections, the parties forming the executive draw up an executive programme, which forms the basis for all activities undertaken during the administrative term of office.

The civil servant organisation

The municipality of Leek employs around 150 people (excluding primary school teachers).

Tourist information


Nienoord country estate has many recreational facilities, such as the National Carriage Museum, the Family Park, an indoor swimming complex and an open air theatre. Near to Leek we find the Leekstermeer lake, offering various water sports facilities. A well equipped sports centre, as well as various sports complexes and halls, and a large equestrian centre, ensure that Leek holds its own in terms of sporting options. Leek is also the regional shopping centre, where a modern, indoor shopping arcade was opened a number of years ago.


Keep and museum

In 1950, Leek municipal council bought Nienoord keep and its 70 hectares (175 acres) of woodlands and two farms, from the Van Panhuijs family. The country estate was deemed an recreational object. Nienoord keep now houses the National Carriage Museum, which exhibits varying collections of carriages, attributes, sleighs, liveries and paintings each year. Other points of attraction around the estate are the Family Park, the swimming pool, the boat trips and Midwolde museum church. Each year, these attractions draw in around 210,000 visitors from all over the Netherlands. There are plenty of accommodation facilities in the close vicinity of Leek and the county estate.Nienoord Family parkNienoord Family park was formed in 1963 when Leek/Nietap deer park association and a group of model railway builders from Leek village decided to bundle their efforts.

The park has since developed into a recreational park for the whole family. It has a complete railway company with signals, points and a real station, all on a 1:8 scale. Children and adults can take a trip through the woods on one of the steam locomotives.

The main building of the recreation park houses Holland's largest railway model, 110 m2 containing more than 35 trains. Outside in the park, we find an LGB track, which exhibits electric trains in the open air.

The large, safe playground (with scooters and radiographic boats) is particularly well known among families with young children.

The family farm in the park has also developed strongly over the past years, with a special area now having been reserved for rare breeds. There are Groningen horses, Lakenvelder cows, all the breeds of Dutch sheep and poultry, various goats, ducks, doves, rabbits etc.

The park rents out hiking huts and organises horse drawn carriage trips around the estate. The recreation park attracts more than 110,000 visitors annually.
Midwolde church

Amid the various attractions of Nienoord estate, the Dutch Reformed Church of Midwolde must certainly not be overlooked. This brick church dates from the 12th century. In 1664, Anna van Ewsum commissioned the sculptor Rombout Verhulst to carve a spectacular tomb with lifesize marble statues, depicting members of the Van Ewsum and Von Inn und Knipphausen family. A beautiful wood carved pulpit, stained glass windows and a modest, yet particularly attractive organ, make the trip to Midwolde worth the effort. The community centre and a tearoom are housed in the historical Vredewold cafe, opposite the church.

For detailed information about the region and the many alternatives it offers we suggest that you contact the Tourist Information Westerkwartier.

We are pleased to welcome you to our region, where peace and open space continue to predominate. See you in the Westerkwartier of the province of Groningen.