Belle-Vue brewery building becomes hotel and tourism training centre

An important urban development in the Brussels municipality of Molenbeek-Saint-Jean has seen the transformation of the old stables and malt houses of the Belle-Vue brewery into a three-star hotel and training centre. The “Espace hôtelier Belle-Vue” will support social inclusion, jobs, education and training in the area, by providing theoretical and practical training in the tourism and hotel business for low-skilled, young job seekers.

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The Espace hôtelier Belle-Vue (left) and the former Belle-Vue malt houses (centre) during renovation.© The Espace hôtelier Belle-Vue (left) and the former Belle-Vue malt houses (centre) during renovation.©

" For the municipality of Molenbeek-Saint-Jean, Espace hôtelier Belle-Vue is an innovative project combining urban renewal, showcasing of our industrial and historical heritage, high energy performance in the shape of an energy-efficient building, socio-professional integration and development of tourism in the area. "

David Alsembach, municipality of Molenbeek-Saint-Jean

Renovation of the site was the first step and involved the replacement of the stables with a six-storey hotel, and the transformation of the malt houses into a training space. This began in November 2011 and covered an area of 2 567 m². A total of 29 hotel rooms have been furnished, providing luxury at a competitive price. The facility also contains a seminar room and meets the highest standards of energy efficiency.

Hotel rooms adaptable for training

Research showed a need for training to be better aligned with the needs of the sector. The hotel rooms are therefore adaptable for training, thereby enabling trainees to put new skills into practice on-site. The project aims to improve the long-term perspectives of its trainees by fostering solid partnerships with other hotels.

The Espace hôtelier Belle-Vue should train around 120 people a year in various aspects related to tourism, catering and hospitality, including housekeeping and reception duties, for which training is lacking in Brussels.

Trainees are also invited to improve their knowledge of languages, maths and IT, which should increase their employability. The final stage consists of job-seeking modules, including drafting of CVs and motivation letters, simulated interviews and help with looking for jobs.

The work was led by the Molenbeek municipality Subsidised Project Division, under Councillor Jan Gypers, and designed by L’Escaut Architecture, MS-A and Grontmij Brussels.

Responsibility for management of the hotel is to be given to a private body, while the training centre is to be managed by a local employment association. By combining training and employment in the tourism sector, the project should support the local economy in terms of job creation and attracting tourism, encourage development of local infrastructure and help to make the area more pleasant and socially cohesive.

Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the project “Espace hôtelier Belle-Vue” is EUR 5 551 000, of which the EU’s European Regional Development Fund is contributing EUR 2 750 000, from the Operational Programme “Brussels Capital Region”, for the 2007 to 2013 programming period.

Draft date