Leuven opens new creative workspace for youth


Young people in Leuven who need rehearsal space, an art studio or just want to learn to cook have a new place all their own

A place to call home

In what used to be a De Lijn bus garage, Leuven’s young people gathered at the weekend to officially open a new space dedicated to their ideas and projects. Called Stelplaats (Depot) in a nod to its previous life, the space is located on Vuurkruisenlaan, near the city’s train station.

Stelplaats – managed by Leuven’s youth department, known as mijnLeuven – is home to a skatepark, studios for metal, woodworking and silkscreen, a rehearsal space for musicians, graffiti workshops and a kitchen for cooking lessons and foodie experiments. There will also be a performances space for all of this talent to show off.

Opening weekend saw workshops, skateboard exhibitions and ongoing music jams. “There wasn’t enough affordable space, which was really impeding on young people’s ability to develop their initiatives,” said Dirk Vansina, city councillor for youth issues. “Stelplaats will give them the chance to work out their ideas in a creative atmosphere. It’s a space that really belongs to them.”

Some organisations will be regulars in Stelplaats, but space will also be open to other organisations or individuals to use freely or for a very inexpensive rate. It will also host concerts, exhibitions and other activities open to the greater public.