FOODMET - Covered market at the Abattoirs de Cureghem

The emblematic Anderlecht metal market has been more than an abattoir for many years now. Already in use as a function hall and a mushroom farm, this 19th century industrial building is taking on a new lease of life with the FOODMET project. A totally new covered market of about 12,000 m2, it is now welcoming sedentary traders.

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Foodmet: A totally new market of about 12000 m2 is now welcoming sedentary traders. Abattoir CEO Joris Tiebout. © Associated Press Foodmet: A totally new market of about 12000 m2 is now welcoming sedentary traders. Abattoir CEO Joris Tiebout. © Associated Press

" The Abattoirs de Cureghem are at the centre of a disadvantaged multicultural neighbourhood, hence the importance of economic activities on the site. People living in the neighbourhood benefit from the market, which attracts over one hundred thousand visitors every week. Events supported by the Abattoir Forum and the Cultureghem non-profit-making association have also been designed as a new source of public attraction. "

Geneviève Planchard, Communications Officer with the Brussels Regional Civil Service - Brussels Regional Coordination, ERDF unit

The conditions for renting a store in this market are simple: you sell food products and make sure that you have a street vendor licence. 

More than 45 traders in total now have a stand in this space inspired by the covered markets in Southern Europe, and EUR 7,479,067 from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) is enabling the project to diversify its activities further. 

The general public is offered a very wide variety of products in the market at especially low prices. Fruit, vegetables, cheese, bread, olives, herbs and a variety of other specialities can now be found alongside the meat and fish. Fresh products are also prepared and can be sampled in the bistro and restaurant, which will soon be opening its doors to the public.

In addition to the advantages to be had by consumers, the traders benefit from fixed positions in a clean environment protected from adverse weather conditions. The project has both health and logistical advantages: loading bays and cold rooms allow the traders to stock their shelves in compliance with the cold chain.

Urban farm at the heart of Brussels

The project is intended to be green and sustainable. Reusing the heat produced by the fridges and using solar energy is proof of sound ecological management. Added to this is the use of rainwater and improved waste management. 

Another ecological feature: the flat roof will ultimately be developed as an aquaponic urban farm of about 4,000 m2. It should therefore be possible to produce fish, fruit and vegetables locally at the same time as protecting the food market from overheating and the cold.

As a bonus, several residents in the neighbourhood have found jobs in standard employment thanks to the setting up of the new market.

Total investment and EU funding

The Abattoir project: Total investment for Foodmet with Urban Farm was EUR 18,000,000, of which the EU’s European Regional Development Fund contributed EUR 7,479,067 under the Operational Programme ‘Bruxelles-Capitale’ for the 2007-2013 programming period.

Draft date