From 1 February, Jette station will be home to the STAYTION project: a civic centre and multi-purpose hall for cultural and educational activities. This new activity is in response to a call for projects launched by the SNCB in 2022 as part of its "La Vie en Gare" programme.

At Jette station, the former ticket office area and the old buffet will now host civic activities open to all. Following a call for tenders for the use of areas of the station that are currently unoccupied for activities with a social, societal or ecological impact, several local players looking for an ideal place to create a socio-cultural space joined forces to develop the STAYTION project.

A socio-cultural space in the heart of the station

The STAYTION project occupies 2 spaces on the ground floor: the former ticket office converted into a civic café (Le Comptoir) and the former buffet converted into a multi-purpose room (L'Atelier). The waiting room, which is accessible to passengers, will also be used occasionally for events, while maintaining access for SNCB customers. These spaces have been renovated with an eye to the circular economy: restoration of the historic ceilings and the old bar counter, recovery of furniture, enhancement of window frames, etc.

The station building, ideally located in the heart of the community and a symbolic place for mobility, will offer a series of cultural and educational activities and a range of services, such as an intergenerational choir, sewing workshops, mobility events and a weekly market. The STAYTION project is supported by a number of partners from the local economy: Labolobo, Rayon Vert, Shop1090 and Espaces-Mobilités, a mobility and public spaces consultancy.

A digital avatar of the station

"The layout of the spaces has been designed using virtual reality: a digital twin of the station and its environment has been created to test layout and usage scenarios. It will also provide input for future refurbishment of the building," enthuses Xavier Tackoen from Espaces-Mobilités.

A win-win situation for passengers and the district

Through its "La Vie en Gare" project, SNCB is working with local authorities to encourage the development of local projects with the aim of developing activities in stations that meet passengers' needs and create a link with the local environment, in order to liven up and make the most of unused spaces.

"The STAYTION project, which won the tender launched by the SNCB, is strengthening local dynamics and social cohesion. This will benefit both local residents and SNCB passengers, who will benefit from more dynamic station services and environment", explains Patrice Couchard, SNCB Stations Director.

The joint ambition of SNCB and those involved in the project is to test contact with local residents and stakeholders, and to provide input for discussions on the future of the station as part of SNCB's planned renovations.

Located in the Brussels region on Place Cardinal Mercier, Jette station handles more than 16,000 passengers every week. Its emblematic building, designed by the architect Franz Seulen, was inaugurated on 15 November 1892 and protected in 1995.

Georges Gilkinet, Federal Minister for Mobility: "Stations are strategically located, often at strategic points of mobility. More than just places of passage, they must increasingly become places of exchange, life, service and strengthening of the social fabric. As Minister for Mobility, I am delighted to see socio-cultural projects like this one taking shape, and I fully support them. This desire to bring more life to stations is also included as an objective in the public service contract signed with SNCB in December."

Marie Thibaut de Maisières, spokesperson for Elke Van den Brandt, Brussels Minister for Mobility: "The train is Brussels' big secret. Who knows that you can get from Jette to Schuman in just 11 minutes? Or Uccle-Stalle - centrale in 12 minutes? Rail is full of opportunities for mobility in Brussels. In reality, the Brussels S network is like 35 additional metro stations that are already there, we just need to add frequency and publicise them. To do this, we want to make our Brussels stations more visible in the public space, more open to the city and more intermodal. This project is exciting because it meets all these conditions: it will bring the station to life, bring it closer to local residents and the local economy, and offer a mobility hub with, in particular, a perfect train/tram connection".

In recent years, the College of Burgomasters and Aldermen of Jette, and even the local council, have repeatedly spoken out in favour of a socio-cultural use for this important building for the people of Jette.

"A wonderful dynamic has now been created, bringing together the various players in Jett's community and commercial life," says a delighted Claire Vandevivere, Mayor of Jett. "Thanks to this project, which is logistically and financially supported by the municipality, our station will rise from the ashes and begin its new life. And the Mayor added: "May STAYTION develop and, in the future, become the union of Mobility, Culture and Social and Economic Animation in our municipality!"

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