The forges of Tronçais

The retraining project

There are 250,000 brownfield sites in France, but the possibilities for conversion depend first of all on the economic environment, the location of the wastelands, the nature of the projects and the actors who carry out the rehabilitation. No displeasure to experts, rehabilitating an industrial wasteland of 10 hectares in an agglomeration of 500,000 inhabitants has nothing to do with the same operation here. Indeed, the concentration in major cities of factors of production (labour, capital, training, services, telecommunications, transport, etc.) places territories like ours in great difficulty. Therefore, it is better to think carefully before embarking on the rehabilitation of such a site. For example, a design firm worked on the site for 18 months between 2012 and 2014. He proposed the creation of a production centre – research – wood design training.

However, the design office did not take into account the financial limit set out in the specifications: 2 to 2.5 million euros of investment. His argument is that it would be easy to propose “a small project of esteem” that would simply result in the creation of a small museum in the old buildings, but that is not what will revitalize the territory. He is right: there are 5,000 visitors a year to the Berry Canal Museum, and as many to the Grossouvre forges, whose renovation, which cost 3,000,000 euros, was carried out by the Department of Cher and not by a community of municipalities of 7,700 inhabitants. The latest estimate provided by the design office foresees an investment of 6,700,000 euros for the next 4 years. Faced with this expenditure, we could have claimed the maximum of 1,200,000 euros in aid (300,000 euros from the Region – 300,000 euros from the Department – 300,000 euros deTR – Europe). Assuming that thanks to its knowledge of the financial engineering of this type of project, the design office achieves 80% of public and private aid, the community of communes should finance 1,340,000 euros in 4 years, or 335,000 euros per year. That is almost the annual amount of our investments on roads. Either the elected representatives give up the roads, which is impossible, or they agree to borrow 1,340,000 euros for the first phase of the forges. This is why, for the time being, only the roofs ‘ comfort work (which would all have collapsed without this), the closure and cleaning of the site has been carried out for an amount of 358,788 euros TTC.