The Brussels Alderman for Economic Affairs Fabian Maingain (DéFI) has said that his “priority is to maintain the Foire du Midi (‘The South Fair’) at its current location”. This is in spite of the fact that works on the future Toots Thielemans metro station, scheduled to start in 2020, are likely to render it difficult to maintain the event in the city centre.
By contrast, in a recent interview the president of Brussels fairgrounds Patrick De Corte claimed that he has an agreement in principle with the City to move the Foire du Midi to Heysel stadium.
“Neither we nor the city will move the location of the Foire du Midi with a joyful heart,” said Mr De Corte. “We’ve been thinking about alternatives for months about staying in the city centre, but that seems impossible because not everyone will be able to find their way around. We received a guarantee from the City that we would be able to return in seven years, after the work is completed. Obviously, in an ideal situation we would not move the fair.”
In response to Mr De Corte’s claims, a spokesman for Mr Maingain said: “The Fair will indeed be affected by the work on the northern metro over the periods 2020-2023 and 2024-2027. For each of these periods we are looking for suitable solutions. Our priority is to maintain the Fair in its current setting, and we are counting on the Brussels Region to find a solution that will enable the Foire du Midi to maintain its activity in the historic Marolles district.”