“Brussels Greenfields” helps finance chemical clean-up for companies that settle on polluted sites

The Brussels Capital Region encourages businesses to set up operations on previously unviable, polluted sites in the Canal zone, by financing up to 75 % of the cost of depolluting and providing business advisory services such as guidance on financial planning and paperwork.

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Map showing polluted plots around the Canal area.  © IBGE Map showing polluted plots around the Canal area. © IBGE

" With Brussels Greenfields, brownfields disappear and give way to sustainable projects to meet the challenges of the region. "

Saïd El Fadili, Project Manager

The “Brussels Greenfields” programme has chosen 12 projects that will receive a total of over EUR 4.6 million and create 2 200 jobs. This entails depollution of 174 000 m2 of land in Brussels’ “Priority Intervention Zone,” including areas in the east and north sections of central Brussels and in the neighbouring districts bordering the Brussels Canal, which have been targeted for urban renewal by the regional government.

A second chance for polluted areas

A series of empty lots along the Canal are badly contaminated with industrial waste, and those who would normally be held responsible have either disappeared or gone bankrupt, or are otherwise unable to undertake clean-up operations. These sites had therefore been frozen and left idle and unproductive for many years.

The Brussels Environmental Management Institute has stepped in with its “Brussels Greenfields” programme to support businesses willing to depollute and restore these sites as a way of rehabilitating the area by encouraging economic activity and job creation. The selected enterprises will not only obtain subsidies to help finance depollution, but will also receive help in dealing with the various institutions and services that regulate or facilitate the process of setting up a business.

Green jobs

The 12 winners include a promising array of eco-friendly projects and social economy ventures that combine sustainable operations with a focus on economic and social renewal. The “Ecopôle” recycling centre, for example, will not only help reduce waste but will entail environmentally sound building renovations and employment insertion strategies that favour social inclusion. Other projects include a new housing and hotel complex near the Gare de Midi train station, a business hub for SMEs, an energy-efficient warehouse and cold storage facility for greengrocers, and an urban kitchen garden with plots for amateurs and small commercial operators.

Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for “Brussels Greenfields” was EUR 4 621 131, of which the EU’s European Regional Development Fund contributed EUR 2 310 565 from the “Brussels Capital Region” Operational Programme for the 2007 to 2013 programming period.

Draft date