Small step to increase business sites

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Entrepreneurs in Flanders often struggle to find a suitable location when they consider extending or relocating their business. To address this problem, Minister of Economy Kris Peeters CD&V plans to improve the monitoring of available business sites, hoping that tighter control will guarantee sufficient options from which businesses can choose in the short term. The area in question spans 1,363 hectares. “We will not only improve the monitoring of supply and demand, but also plan to ensure the supply is utilised more effectively,” says Peeters. The government further plans to make the 1,252 hectares of unused plots available. Thanks to legal measures the purchasing and development of sites will be accelerated. Finally subsidies for business site developments will only be awarded if the project proves to be unprofitable without additional support. “This leaves more room for projects in need of a subsidy,” Peeters explains. The available funds for subsidies are 22 million euros per annum. The employers’ organisation Voka is happy with these new measures. “In the long term we need more than this, a revision of the spatial structure plan must provide relief,” says Eric Vermeylen, director of the research centre of the organisation. “We desperately need sites for economic development. The Flemish coalition agreement stresses the revision of the spatial plan, but its implementation will take time.”

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