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20 new ERDF projects relating to the Canal Area

Brussels Cruise Terminal - © Port de Bruxelles - Haven van Brussel

2015-05-22 – The Brussels projects selected for the 2014-2020 programme of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) were presented by the regional government today. These 50 projects (out of 196 submitted), 20 of which relate to the Canal Area, will contribute to the socio-economic development of the Region. Together, they represent an investment of nearly 195 million euros, of which half comes from European funds and half from the Brussels regional budget.

The selected projects relate to four pillars:

  • Pillar 1 aims to reinforce research and improve the transfer and emergence of innovation.
  • Pillar 2 seeks to strengthen entrepreneurship and improve the development of SMEs in growth sectors.
  • Pillar 3 concerns support for the development of a circular economy and the rational use of resources in growth sectors.
  • Pillar 4 focuses on improving living conditions and the local environment in districts with disadvantaged populations.


The resources allocated to the projects comply with two main principles:

  • the geographical concentration of projects (supported facilities are located in the Urban Regeneration Zone (ZRU) and in the development clusters identified in the Regional Sustainable Development Plan, including the Canal Area).
  • the concentration of projects in certain priority sectors which are likely to generate employment and economic dynamism (media, the creative and tourism sectors; resources and waste; sustainable food and catering; sustainable construction and renewable energies; health and personal services).


During the previous ERDF 2007-2013 programme, all 37 Brussels projects selected were in the Priority Intervention Zone (PIZ), which approximately corresponds to the Canal Area’s districts. For the new ERDF 2014-2020 programme, 20 of the 50 selected projects again relate to the Canal Area:

  • Metrolab: aninter-university, inter-disciplinary and multi-sectoral laboratory for area-specific research into technological solutions relating to urban issues in Brussels (the Canal).
  • Hamster: a test facility for studying the hygrothermal behaviour and energy performance of construction materials in the future sustainable building of the Greenbizz centre of excellence in construction.
  • Bellevue 4 Starters: low-skilledyoung people from disadvantaged areas get involved in creating their own jobs.
  • Marco Polo SME Space: creation of a reception space for SMEs (7,000 m2) in a comprehensive urban development project (subsidised homes, student housing, shops, facilities).
  • Manufakture Abattoir: construction of a new slaughterhouse on a vacant part of the Anderlecht slaughterhouses site.
  • Upgrade of the North-South cycle route: adaptations to allow cyclists to pass under the Sainctelette, De Trooz and Van Praet bridges, and modifications to Chaussée de Vilvoorde in order to create a genuine two-way cycle lane that is separated from the traffic.
  • New exemplary regional recycling facility at Quai Demets dock on the Canal at Anderlecht.
  • Brussels Cruise Terminal: creation of a passenger terminal by the Port of Brussels.
  • La Halle Winter Garden: purchase of a building currently used by a second-hand car business, in order to turn it into a winter garden, which will become a public space open to the entire Cureghem district.
  • Actie zkt Burger / Action recherche Citoyen: De Vaartkapoen community centre plans to create a dialogue between artists, public spaces, spectators and residents.
  • Crèches: creations of six new crèches in Schaerbeek, Molenbeek and Anderlecht.
  • Move it Kanal: creation of a network of social and cultural associations and launch of pilot projects relating to access to culture for young people from disadvantaged neighbourhoods.
  • Forest Abbey, a district, municipal and regional cultural centre: creation of a cultural centre and park at the remarkable Forest Abbey heritage site.
  • De Vaartkapoen geeft ruimte aan de stad: renovation and expansion of the De Vaartkapoen community centre in Molenbeek to enable it to function more effectively, but also with a view to urban regeneration and improving the living environment for local residents.
  • Centre for the Arts, Science, Technology, Innovation and Inclusion (CASTII): consolidation of the iMAL premises by the Canal, creating a new gallery / events space on the ground floor, enlarging and renovating the premises and developing a new programme of activities for the disadvantaged local population.


For more details, read the PDFs of the 2014-2020 Programme  and its general Introduction (in French).