A successful urban transformation and professional opportunities for youngsters

Brussels’ first ‘passive’ hotel revitalises old industrial site

About this project

The site of the former Belle-Vue brewery, is an innovative project supported by the Brussels municipality of Molenbeek-Saint-Jean. It brings together industrial heritage, urban regeneration, energy efficiency, training and coaching for the young people, and makes an ideal base for visiting Brussels’ tourist attractions.

Brewing up professional and personal fulfilment

ART2WORK guides the young people of Brussels towards jobs
The ART2WORK team in the former Belle-Vue brewery

ART2WORK has its premises on the 4th floor of the old Belle-Vue brewery malthouse in Molenbeek, Brussels. It provides coaching and training for the youth of the Belgian capital.

The coaching supports young people with job hunting but also goes further, helping them discover how to live more meaningful lives. “The most important thing is to develop each individual’s inherent motivation, hope and passion,” explains ART2WORK’s Wim Embrechts.

“We wouldn’t have had the resources to set up ART2WORK without EU support. We didn’t have a Plan B,” Wim admits. This isn’t just a question of money. It’s also about providing space for young people to receive coaching and study a methodology with a team of dedicated professionals.

To get them to come out of their shells, ART2WORK shares inspiring stories from other youngsters. As Wim says, ‘Real examples have the most impact.”

June 2017: 2nd anniversary of the opening of Belvue hotel

European Commission organises press visit to former Belle-Vue brewery site
From left to right: Aboubakr Bensaihi, Minister-President of the Brussels-Capital Region Rudi Vervoort, European Commissioner for Regional Policy Corina Crețu and Mayor of Molenbeek-Saint-Jean Françoise Schepmans

On 6 June 2017, the European Commission organised a press visit to 3 EU-financed projects at the former Belle-Vue brewery site in Molenbeek, Brussels: the Belvue hotel, Molenbeek Formation and ART2WORK. The visit marked the 2nd anniversary of the opening of the Belvue hotel.

European Commissioner for Regional Policy Corina Cretu, Minister-President of the Brussels-Capital Region Rudi Vervoort, Mayor of Molenbeek Françoise Schepmans and Molenbeek actor Aboubakr Bensaihi, famous for his role in Belgian film Black, were present. Participants discussed the impact of EU investments on the projects.

The visit was the ideal occasion to show how the effects of EU actions are felt everywhere in Brussels.

Through its investments, the EU has helped to revitalise the whole area in terms of town planning, tourism, cultural development, the local economy and employment.

3-star hotel provides practical hospitality training

Since it opened in June 2015, more than 10,000 guests have stayed in Belvue Hotel’s 29 rooms. But as well as accommodating visitors, the Belvue also helps young people to get into work. Its training centre occupies a wing of the old Belle-Vue brewery malt house. 

Managed by a local training body, it prepares young adults for hotel work, and they put what they learn into practice straight away. It is the only hotel in Brussels offering this type of training. 33 people have already completed the course.

The Belvue is also Brussels’ first ‘passive’ hotel, using very little energy. Its impact can be seen in the dynamism it has generated in the neighbourhood.

This major project is supported by the European Union through its ERDF programme (European Regional Development Fund), the Belgian federal state and the Brussels-Capital region.

Project facts
  • Hospitality training and help to find jobs for 35 young people a year
  • Brussels’ first ‘passive’ hotel with very low energy use
  • Coaching and reintegration for troubled youth and support for entrepreneurship
  • Large-scale urban regeneration in Molenbeek-Saint-Jean
  • Making the most of the industrial heritage of the old Belle-Vue brewery


Brussels-Capital region
EU Funding:
EUR 2 750 000
Belgian federal state, Brussels-Capital Region, Molenbeek Training, Municipality of Molenbeek Saint-Jean
Belgium, Molenbeek-Saint-Jean (Brussels-Capital)
2014 - 2020
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