Beliris: 845 million euros for the promotion of Brussels as a capital and international city
The recently-approved 2020-2022 Beliris programme has earmarked a total budget of 845 million euros for the promotion of Brussels as a capital and international city. This budget will be used to contribute to Brussels projects in various fields including mobility, green spaces, social housing, culture and sport.
Beliris, a public entity that was set up by a Cooperation Agreement between the Brussels-Capital Region (BCR) and the federal authorities, promotes Brussels by implementing various construction, renovation and restoration projects, for which it relies in part on federal budgets. As such, this public service acting as a contracting authority contributes to sustainable projects that improve the quality of life of Brussels residents and visitors to the capital.
Within Brussels International, the Beliris Department is responsible for advising the regional government and for ensuring that the initiatives agreed between the latter and the federal government are respected.
For the 2020-2022 period, the federal government is investing 845 million euros in an ambitious programme that will primarily focus on efficient mobility, urban development, culture, sport and heritage.
Inclusive and efficient mobility
Beliris will spend 40% of this budget on mobility, including on the design of inclusive infrastructure that offers more space for cyclists, pedestrians and other active public space’s users.
The northbound extension of the metro network is the most important project, however, with an annual budget of 50 million euros as part of a ten-year commitment by the federal government to the Brussels-Capital Region. Beliris is also overseeing the opportunity and feasibility study for the southbound extension of the metro network, to the communes of Uccle and Forest.
The new programme will also enable the Region to develop its cycle network for medium and long-distance journeys along major roads, railroads, the Canal and motorways.
Three major urban roads will be redesigned to promote active travel: boulevard Lambermont (with a two-way cycle path and a residential area), avenue de la Toison d’Or (development of quality spaces in front of the retail spaces, extension of the cycle paths, etc.) and boulevard Émile Bockstael (which will be redeveloped with adapted pavements, cycle paths, better integration of public transport, more green spaces and improved safety).
Finally, Beliris will also coordinate the study for the design of a new footbridge to cross the Canal near the Abattoirs in Anderlecht.
Projects for social housing, public spaces, green areas and neighbourhood infrastructure, all contribute to harmonious urban development.
The Beliris programme is investing in Biestebroeck and Josaphat, which are both priority areas, as well as in the redevelopment of the area around Gare de l’Ouest. It also provides financing for urban renewal contracts and contributes to social cohesion.
In addition, the Region wants to strengthen the links between public space, water and nature, with projects such as the lowering and the greening of the Canal banks. The objective is ambitious, namely to create qualitative spaces that encourage people to walk, practice sport and socialise, that are both pleasant for the locals as well as for Brussels visitors.
Culture, sport and heritage
Culture, heritage and sport are all essential aspects that contribute to making a region dynamic. The new Beliris programme will dedicate 160 million euros to the creation and renovation of sports and cultural infrastructure as well as to the restoration of heritage buildings, which are essential to the capital’s appeal.
In terms of heritage, 15 million euros will go to unblocking the restoration projects of the Royal Conservatoire of Brussels. Beliris is also the contracting authority for the restoration of the Royal Greenhouses of Laeken (13.6 million euros), a tourist hotspot. In addition, the programme provides renewed support to la Monnaie/De Munt for the renovation of the opera’s façades and Grand Foyer. The conversion of the Abbaye de Forest into a cultural centre will also be continued (16 million euros).
In terms of sport, in addition to the construction of two multipurpose sports halls in Evere and Koekelberg, the programme also provides an investment of 7.5 million euro for the construction of a hockey stadium in Uccle, bolstered by the results of the two national hockey teams.
The ERDF programme, providing additional leverage for development in Brussels
In Brussels, the 2014-2020 programme of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) is mainly focusing on the urban revival of the Canal area. But the ERDF also provides funding for mobility and social cohesion projects and thus contributes to projects that receive financing from Beliris.
This dynamic makes it possible to strengthen the leverage effect of urban policies. For example, the ERDF focuses on Sustainable Neighbourhood Contracts (Heyvaert neighbourhood, where Beliris bought the land and the buildings) and is involved in the rehabilitation of Abbaye de Forest and the requalification of the North-South cycle route.
To conclude, together the ERDF programming and Beliris’ projects are at the base of the new FEDER-Beliris Directorate within Brussels International.
For more information, check the press kit “Beliris loves Brussels…” (in French) (26/5/21)