16 November, 2013

A former Angers decision center "in the corner"

It looks like a joke but it wasn't. An Angers real estate agency, Rousseau Immobilière Comine, has just published on the website Le bon coin an offer about the sale of the former headquarter of the Banque populaire Anjou-Vendée (Bpav). That bank, famous in Maine-et-Loire for its involvement in the financing of little and medium private companies, and the first Banque populaire ever created in France (1878), has been merged about 15 years ago with another subisidiary of the group Banque populaire established in Nantes. The two subsidiaries of Angers and Nantes gave way to the Banque populaire Atlantique whose headquarter is in Nantes. So 7 600 m2 of offices are useless in Angers. Formerly full of employees, the building is for sale. 

That news illustrates once again the leak of headquarters from Angers and the concentration of places of decisions and power outside the city and specifically in Nantes, the capital of the Pays de la Loire region, what indicates that the cooperation between cities for a balanced development has progress to achieve. But it is above all the topic of the decrease in attrac-tiveness of the town which could so resurface during the electoral campaign. 

The case of the former Bpav is not isolated. A lot of industrial and commercial surfaces are currently unoccupied in Angers like the Technicolor one. But, while Technicolor was part of the industry, the Banque populaire is part of the services. That sector gives jobs to a lot of people in the city and is not sheltered from relocation. Recently, it was feared that Stream, a call center, was on the verge to close his offices in Angers and to transfer them abroad. The issue of economy and unemployment, which is already at the top of the concerns of Angers inhabitants, and candidates, will be dealt through a lot of approaches : transports, housings for workers but also favourable conditions, both fiscal and administrative, for companies. Apparently, even regional institutions are not convinced of the interest to keep a high profile in Angers. 

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