Region approves cultural redeployment programme for Manchester site, including installation of Recyclart
In late 2017 and early 2018, the government of the Brussels-Capital Region purchased the ‘Manchester 13-15’ and ‘Manchester 17-19’ industrial sites in Molenbeek-Saint-Jean within the framework of the Heyvaert-Poincaré urban regeneration contract. Following an initial study of possible uses for the sites, in April 2019 the government approved the principle of their redevelopment as a new centre for cultural, artistic and creative production.
By approving the detailed site redeployment scenario and entrusting the project management role to the Urban Development Corporation, the Brussels government has now launched the implementation of the finalised plans. The project investment will be around 14 million euros for the work and 1.68 million euros for the architectural studies. Minister-President Rudi Vervoort: ‘Thanks to this project and the investment being made in urban regeneration, this future cultural, artistic and creative production centre will provide work premises for nearly 100 people. For this area of Molenbeek it will also consolidate the positive developments that have taken shape there recently.’
The decision to establish a cultural, artistic and creative production centre is perfect for the general local context of Rue de Manchester: it will take its place alongside other cultural institutions such as Charleroi Danse and Cinemaximiliaan. The project will also ensure the continuation of the activities of the non-profit organisation Recyclart, which moved there last year.
The first work will start in 2022 and the facilities are scheduled to open in 2025.
Formerly occupied by various business activities, including the Graeffe Refinery, these buildings arranged around two courtyards are located within the operational zone of the Canal Plan (Heyvaert pilot site) and the area covered by Urban Regeneration Contract 5 (URC Heyvaert-Poincarré).
Initial work and investments took place in 2019 to make possible the temporary occupation of the premises, involving the partial use of the industrial hall for concerts and cultural meetings (organised by Recyclart in particular).