Setting up a business in Dordogne

PUBLISHED: 12:30 23 May 2015 | UPDATED: 13:58 03 November 2015

Dordogne's pretty countryside includes quintessential vineyards

Dordogne's pretty countryside includes quintessential vineyards

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We speak to 3 experts about the benefits of setting up a business in this iconic part of France

HOLIDAY HOTSPOT: Frédéric Perraud, Director of the Périgueux tourist office, explains why Dordogne’s mix of culture and countryside is so popular
“Situated in
Aquitaine, to the east of Bordeaux in south-west France, the department of Dordogne acts as a gateway to Limousin and the historical province of Quercy. A favourite destination with food lovers, it is a fascinating area with plenty to see and do at any time of year. Beautiful buildings such as castles, manor houses and Romanesque churches are dotted around the countryside, providing a magnet for anyone interested in culture and heritage. Going back even further, 17 centuries ago our prehistoric ancestors left us some exceptional works of art, such as the cave paintings in Lascaux and the 15 other prehistoric sites concentrated in the Vézère valley, which are now UNESCO World Heritage Sites. With its 10 listed villages, medieval bastides and three Villes d’Art et d’Histoire, Dordogne is one of the most architecturally rich departments in France. In fact, after Paris, the area boasts the highest number of listed historical monuments in the country. Today, visitors can discover these via various tours and events that help to bring them to life. Throughout the year, Dordogne offers numerous festivals and events dedicated to music, mime, film and food and drink. Nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts are also spoilt for choice, with activities as diverse as canoeing, hiking, cycle touring, golf, climbing, fishing and potholing.”

INDUSTRY OVERVIEW: Romain Rousseau, Project Manager of Périgord Développement, outlines the opportunities available to business owners in the area

“While Dordogne is often considered to be one of France’s favourite holiday destinations, it also offers a diverse and extremely competitive business environment, which is ripe for investment. The business economy is substantially supported by local governmental agencies, reflecting the department’s desire to attract new investment by offering a competitive workforce, along with support at every step of the way. Dordogne-Périgord is working towards the creation of a dynamic economic hub based around sustainably developing the area’s chief industries. This includes traditional sectors, such as the food and timber industries, as well as new ventures in technology, international luxury goods and the leather industry. Other sectors include the chemical industry and the aerospace industry, an initiative that saw the creation of the Aerospace Valley Cluster in 2005. Having already completed over 200 research projects, the aim is for this venture to create 40,000 jobs within the area. Existing buildings suitable for business, as well as land with planning permission, are available at attractive prices. Other benefits for potential business owners include training and resource development centres, excellent business networks, and great infrastructure with access to high-speed routes. Businesses can benefit from exemption from various taxes, as well as receiving assistance before and during the life of the project. Support includes help with recruitment, and training for employees and managers. Working together is key; there are currently over 46,000 companies (multinationals and SMEs) driving the economy of Dordogne-Périgord. To become established in any area relies on becoming part of a dynamic network. At present, 32 groups known as ‘poles of competitiveness’ help to provide the skills required through co-operation between companies, laboratories and universities.”

ASSISTANCE FROM THE FRANCO-BRITISH CHAMBER OF COMMERCE: Roger Haigh, Director of the Franco-British Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) for Dordogne, explains how they can support new businesses in the area

“I cannot stress enough the benefits of having workable infrastructure, and the existence of Bergerac airport in particular should not be underestimated. Tourism is such an important aspect of the local economy, with Dordogne being the most visited inland department in France outside of Paris, so accessibility is a vital factor. As part of the FBCCI, our mission is to work in close collaboration with the local Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Dordogne and many other regional governmental agencies, in order to attract foreign investment to develop local industry and assist companies already present here. Again, this economic development can only be made possible as we continue to develop low-cost air transport in and out of the area. The area has attracted over 15,000 British expats and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Dordogne has over 240 registered British-owned businesses. We feel confident in the ability of this part of France to further develop economically. Special assistance can be provided, be it via financial incentives or by overall aid in establishing and running a business in Dordogne.”

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