The confinement made many want to join the province to live there, but also to work there. Why not open a business, a company or an association at a station? SNCF allows this through its subsidiary Gares et Connexions, the custodian of buildings. In Eure, 797m² are available by applying to the national system 1 001 Stations.
It has been years since the economic model in SNCF stations has changed, whether for the purchase of tickets, for catering or for the accommodation of the station manager. Except in the big cities, spaces have become available: “With these vacant m², we asked ourselves the question: how to revitalize our often oversized stations in the context of regional planning? They are generally in the city center and a train station is a place to live together. With local communities, especially the regions, we offer to rent spaces. In Normandy, this represents 3000m² for 28 stations, “explains Agnès Moutel-Lamy, Hauts de France / Normandie regional director for SNCF stations.
All ideas are eligible
Against a fee “of a small sum, companies, associations, liberal professions and public services can file a Made in Gare file downloadable online, continues Agnès Moutel-Lamy. After validation by a referent, an internal jury analyzes the project according to the capacity to animate the station and the local life, the economic viability and the ambitions. In the study, there is always a dialogue with the city or the region ”. After a refurbishment and standards by Gares et Connexions, the contractor can make its arrangement and launch its activity.
From coworking to solidarity coffee
With a proportion of 60% of public requests against 40% private, most of the projects concern coworking, mobility services, local shops “or even solidarity cafes,” adds Agnès Moutel-Lamy. It is very diverse. In Eure, there is a strong demand following the health crisis. Close to the Paris region, 7 stations have 797m² to occupy (Vernon-Giverny, Verneuil-sur-Avre, Val-de-Reuil, Serquigny, Glos-sur-Risle, Gisors, Gaillon-Aubevoye, Editor’s note) with premises such as accommodation, offices, passenger halls, sales areas, a mezzanine and even a waiting room. It must be said that they are all still in operation, therefore with passengers and trains passing by ”.
The example of Trouville-Deauville
The most advanced file in Normandy, as accepted but delayed by the Coronavirus, is that of a coworking in the magnificent Normandy-style station of Trouville-Deauville (Calvados), classified as a Historic Monument. In the first quarter of 2021, “will open the second site of Working in Trouville, founded four years ago. It is a coworking space for a community of 90% Parisian entrepreneurs who have come to live in the region, ”explains Anne Julio, the project manager for the municipality of Côte Fleurie. For this, the community responded to the call for projects from 1,001 stations. “We have 40m². It is the old reception with the counter and the hygiaphones next to a concept store. We chose it because the location is strategic when we arrive in Deauville and Trouville. The matter was done quickly with open interlocutors, “said the territorial agent. The cost of the installation will amount to € 20,000.