With only two weeks left before Bordeaux – Paris in 2hrs04 becomes a reality, Invest in Bordeaux sat down with Christophe Vanhove, Managing Director of Lisea, to discuss the reasons for establishing the company’s head office in Bordeaux.
Christophe Vanhove, can you tell us a little about LISEA’s business?
LISEA, a consortium which groups together Vinci, the Caisse des dépôts et consignations, Meridiam and Ardian, is the concession company for the high-speed line between Tours and Bordeaux, which puts Paris just a two-hour trip from Bordeaux as of 2 July.
Since 2011 it has been responsible for financing, designing and building this €7.8 billion project and starting this year, it will oversee maintenance and operations of the line until 2061.
LISEA has chosen to locate its head office in Opus 33, the first building completed as part of the Euratlantique project, located on Quai Paludate just across from the MECA and on the banks of the Garonne. This will be the location for its decision-making center.
LISEA’s staff includes some thirty individuals, composed primarily of executives and experts, and has recruited or is currently recruiting a few additional people for the occasion of the relocation.
Why Bordeaux? What were the criteria for the location?
We couldn’t be anywhere else but Bordeaux!
LISEA decided to set up an office in Poitiers while the line was being built in order to be closer to the teams handling the work. LISEA’s arrival in Bordeaux in 2017 symbolically marks our transition from a company with the status of contractor to that of a full-service infrastructure operator, with the line launching on July 2.
Bordeaux is a fast-developing regional capital, which is now included in prestigious international rankings and is home to a great number of decision-making centers of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region.
For our teams in charge of finance, sales, legal issues, the environment, communication and railway safety, establishing our head office here makes perfect sense as a number of stakeholders and partners we work with on a daily basis are located nearby. But our teams will obviously continue to travel throughout the territory in the continuity of our missions.
Though we visited a number of sites, the decision to locate our offices at Euratlantique on Quai de Paludate came about quite naturally. The proximity to the train station, the development of the Belcier district and the arrival of major companies factored into our decision.
How has Invest in Bordeaux supported you with your project?
Since 2016, their team have listened to our needs for finding office space and supported us in our discussions with various stakeholders.
Over the past year they have advised us on how to support our staff and their partners and families. To give some concrete examples, Invest in Bordeaux organized a discovery weekend for our employees in Bordeaux, provided practical information (housing, schools etc.) and put us in contact with a relocation firm.
So we were fortunate to receive support from this type of professional organization which did outstanding work facilitating our relocation and providing us with consulting services and information.