Obligatory budget for art in construction projects of Flemish government

Construction projects financed by the Flemish government must always include a minimum budget for art. The Flemish Parliament approved this by decree last Wednesday. The previous rules (the so-called Percentage Decrees of 1986, which in practice often remained dead letter) are abolished.


Compulsory budget for art in public spaces:


From now on, we can expect more art in the construction of, for example, bridges, tunnels, new schools or care centres. This decree will undoubtedly provide further incentives for artists. The integration of art in public space is a good thing. The question is, however, how this will be supervised and how quality control will be assured (the so-called “roundabout art” around Flemish roads is not always of the highest quality). The Flemish Government Architect and the Art Unit of the Department of Culture, Youth and Media can play a “watchdog role” role in this regard.


In concrete terms, the following percentages of the building costs must be spent on art assignments:


  • 5% for the first tranche up to EUR 1 million;
  • 1% for the tranche of EUR 1 million up to EUR 3 million;
  • 5% for the tranche of EUR 3 million up to EUR 100 million;
  • 25% for the tranche above EUR 100 million.


This applies to building costs that are entirely borne by the Flemish budget, with a few exceptions. Existing educational buildings and existing sports infrastructure are exempted (new buildings are not exempted), as are construction projects of less than 500.000 euro and buildings intended for private use or which are only accessible to government personnel.


These rules also apply to building projects of separate legal entities who receive a subsidy of 30% of the building costs from the Flemish government. Subsidies within the framework of the “immovable heritage” regulation are not included. These legal entities can combine the budgets for separate art assignments via a master plan or multi-year plan.


Do not hesitate to contact us for further questions about art and law.


Author: Bart Van Besien