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And if you visit, on the road of your holidays, a factory of proximity?


La Manufacture Distribuée in Toulouse is a platform for pooling and circulating tools, services, communities and know-how for entrepreneurs in the Occitanie region. France Third Places

The France Tiers-Lieux association has selected 13 nearby factories (one per region) to discover throughout the summer. The opportunity to immerse yourself, as a family, in an atypical shared workspace anchored in the territories, a source of innovation and local dynamism.

If like 27 million French people, you stayed this summer in France for your holidays, perhaps you visited one of the 13 local factories that France Tiers-Lieux, the national association of Tiers-Lieux, has listed to encourage families to discover these new kind of shared workspaces and thus brighten up, even enliven, your family trips. And if you’re still on the road on the eve of this long weekend of August 15, it’s not too late to make a detour…

At the beginning of July, France Tiers-Lieux indeed made a map of France of nearby factories to visit by selecting one per region, i.e. 13 in total, among the hundred that now criss-cross the territory. With a simple idea in mind… “While many French people will travel across the country during the summer holidays, it seemed important to us to take the opportunity to discover these third places and their committed actors, sources of innovation and local dynamism”indicates to Figaro Patrick Levy-Waitz, president of France Tiers-Lieux.

If you are soon leaving the hustle and bustle of Paris for a stay in Brittany, stop by the Fabrique de l’Espoir in Montreuil, for example, where the mix of digital and traditional techniques allows everyone to learn how to innovate. If you then make a detour to Normandy, why not stop at the Arbre Fabrique, a production space dedicated to agroecology and sustainable food located in Commes in a rural area? And once you arrive on the Breton beaches, take advantage of your stay in Finistère to discover the Ateliers Bois Jean Moulin in Plouhinec, a factory that brings together wood craftsmen (maritime framework, interior and exterior fittings) from the area in a former vocational high school. . Similar circuits are possible throughout the country…

Launched by France Tiers-Lieux following the first confinement in order to support craftsmen and entrepreneurs affected by the Covid crisis, local factories have since been made permanent. They are aimed above all at the industrial and artisanal sectors, as recommended by the CCI Île-de-France in a recent study. Local factories contribute to promoting local production sectors of wood, metal and even textiles. “We realized that pooling machines, whether artisanal or modern like a 3D printer or laser cutter, was a great way to develop these activities”explains Patrick Levy-Waitz.

In August 2021, the association presents a report to the government on the generalization of third places and their expected growth. The State then announced that it wanted to finance 100 local factories. Thanks to the labeling of 61 new entities during the last wave of applications in July, this objective has now been achieved. Among the 200 files presented, the 100 selected are located in areas with little or no dynamics. Thus 43 of the winners are located in rural areas, 39 in small or medium-sized towns, and 18 in a Priority District of the City (QPV).

“While many French people will travel across the country during the summer holidays, it seemed important to us to take the opportunity to discover these third places and their committed actors, sources of innovation and local dynamism”

Patrick Levy-Waitz, President of France Tiers-Lieux

The potential for economic revitalization, a strong territorial anchoring as well as solid partners are among the essential criteria to hope to see its file accepted by a commission of experts made up of labeled precedents, project leaders and third-place specialists. The National Institute of Crafts, the CCIs, the Chambers of Trades and Crafts, as well as the General Directorate of Enterprises responsible for implementing public policies contributing to the development of enterprises are also called upon. Initially, a local factory enters the incubation phase for 4 months. Then the support continues over two years (from January 2023) in order to best support companies in their long-term development.

Working closely with the government since 2018, France Tiers-Lieux will become a GIP (Public Interest Group) in September. Enough to take a new step and reach 400 or even 500 local factories, we hope internally. “In France, we are not used to supporting activities that go beyond the framework and that are of a reasonable size. Our ambition is to change this mentality”, assures Patrick Levy-Waitz. The French State grants 150,000 to 400,000 euros of public money per factory (250,000 euros on average) in order to support these entrepreneurs.

“Third-places create bridges between all the players in the same territory. They are places of cooperation to invent new models”, abounded in 2021 Jacqueline Gourault, then Minister of Territorial Cohesion and very involved in the development of local factories. The number of Third Places in France has already increased from 1,800 in 2018 to 2,500 in 2021, and should still climb to 3,500 by the end of the year…


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