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Het Brussels Gewest bouwt een nieuwe sportvoorziening langs het kanaal

The land is situated by the Vergote Dock near the Canal’s turning area. - © (Simon Schmitt -

2020.11.20 - On the proposal of Minister-President Rudi Vervoort, the Brussels Government today approved the outline plans and tender documents with a view to appointing the multidisciplinary team that will design and monitor the construction of a sports facility between Quai des Armateurs and Allée Verte in 1000 Brussels, under Urban Regeneration Contract 1 ‘Citroën-Vergote’. The Government has delegated the project management role to the Urban Development Corporation (SAU), which will thus be responsible for implementation, and in particular for publishing the public procurement notice at European level within the next few weeks.

The new construction project represents a gross floor space of around 5,400 m² on some 2,600 m² of land belonging to the Port of Brussels and situated by the Vergote Dock near the Canal’s turning area. The future building must include a multipurpose sports hall, a gymnastics hall, a climbing hall, a number of padel courts and a cafeteria. It will be managed by the City of Brussels.

The Minister-President of the Brussels-Capital Region, Rudi Vervoort, commented: ‘This is a new public project of regional significance in the Canal Area and a fine example of a project from the first wave of urban regeneration contracts (URCs). It closely reflects the philosophy of the URCs – initiated by the Region and implemented with the municipalities – of filling in the gaps in public infrastructure and reducing the divides between different urban districts. It will join a large series of initiatives that are helping to regenerate the strategically important Canal Area, both public (including the Museum Kanal - Centre Pompidou, the development of Béco Park, the construction of the Suzan Daniel Bridge and so on) and private (the developments in progress on the Tour et Taxis site). The analyses carried out by in connection with the public health crisis have also underlined the fact that the construction of a sports facility at this location will address the lack of such provision in the districts next to the Canal and bring life to the area by attracting a very broad public.’ Rudi Vervoort added: ‘There are also plans to create interactions between the facility and its external environment. This tall building will become an iconic architectural feature in Brussels and the Canal Area.’

Gilles Delforge, director of the SAU, thanked the Regional Government ‘for the confidence it has placed in the SAU by entrusting it with this new assignment’ and expressed his delight that ‘the SAU is once again playing its role here as coordinator of Brussels’ development, in charge of implementing major urban development projects and public facilities of regional significance. This future sports facility is further proof of the versatility of the SAU, which is already coordinating various projects for the creation of housing, cultural facilities, media and academic centres, premises for the emergency services and so on. As always, the SAU will adapt its way of working to the specific context of the project in order to optimise its coordination of the actions of the various partners involved. For this project, the SAU, acting as project manager on behalf of the Region, will work with the City of Brussels (which will manage the infrastructure when it is built) and with (which oversees the URCs). The SAU also drew up the specifications approved by the Government  today, in close consultation with these two partners, the Region’s Chief Architect and the sports unit of’

Mayor Philippe Close welcomed the news: ‘We regard this project as essential, as this is a district which has undergone real change in recent years. We are also pleased to be working with the Region on the further development of our “10-minute city” project by the Canal. The thinking is that community facilities will raise the quality of life for local residents. Housing, a school, a nursery, public transport and now a sports facility will make this a nice quiet area that is pleasant to live in.’

The First Alderman of the City of Brussels, Benoit Hellings, commented: 'This study for the construction of sports infrastructure of regional importance by the Canal demonstrates the Brussels Region's willingness to invest in the Quartier Nord. The City of Brussels welcomes this new partnership which will lead to the creation of this sports facility. We will work alongside the Region to meet the sporting needs of people living in the district under this ambitious urban regeneration contract.’