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PAPAO (Argentan, Vimoutiers & Gacé)

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A rich and quality territory, easily accessible via the A28 and the A88.Agriculture plays a major role
Land of horses and stud farms. Rural centre of excellence for the horse industry
The Argentan basin continues its economic redeployment


The Pays d’Argentan et Pays d’Auge Ornais (PAPAO) reunites 118 communes. 9 Communities of Communes: Pays d’Argentan, Pays du Merlerault, Région de Gacé, Plaine Argentan-Nord, Vallée de la Dives, Pays d’Exmes, Région d’Ecouché, Pays de Mortrée and Pays du Camembert.

The north east of the PAPAO comprises the Pays d'Auge Ornais, in the cantons of Vimoutiers and Gacé and to a lesser extent the cantons of Trun, Exmes and Merlerault.
The area is distinguishable by its hills, its extensive breeding activity and its quality dairy and cider-based production, certified by many quality labels of origin.
The south west covers the Argentan plain situated around Argentan, Trun, Ecouché and Mortrée. This area is predominantly agricultural with vast parcels of a variety of cultivated crops. A more industrial and urban area, particularly in the vicinity of Argentan, the PAPAO is also home to many stud farms, jewels in the crown of a local economy largely devoted to the horse industry.


Covering a surface area of 1,203 km2 (20% of the total surface of the Orne department), this area is home to 118 communes and 49,843 inhabitants (17% of the total departmental) representing a population density of 41 inhabitants per km2. Argentan is the main urban centre, secondary centres being Vimoutiers and Gacé. 1.8% of the population resides within the Parc Naturel Régional Normandie-Maine (Regional Natural Park). The urban area of Argentan has known major industrial crises (Moulinex, MIC), however continues its efforts towards economic redeployment. The whole area fully intends to exploit the A28 and the A88 to promote its attractiveness.


The Argentan plain is essentially a crop farming area, whereas the Pays d'Auge Ornais is devoted to cattle breeding and milk and cider production. Horse breeding is present throughout the entire area.
The PAPAO has been certified Rural Excellence Centre for its horse industry potential involving 238 professionals. The operation has been granted a budget of 800,000€.
The area has also been certified « Pays d’Accueil Touristique » (quality tourist welcome); this certification aims at promoting local tourist attractions (Haras du Pin, the village of Camembert, the Chambois pocket...) and at reinforcing collaboration among the different organisations involved in the local tourist industry.

Main industrial sectors:
- Agrifood industry: Ysco in Argentan, emp : 380
- Motor industry: Magnetti-Marelli Motopropulsion in Argentan, emp : 360 ; Snop in Gacé, emp : 300
- Manufacture of glass and glassware: Les Verreries de l’Orne in Gacé, emp : 380

  • Carte des communes et des CDC du PAPAO
  • Logo PAPAO
  • Haras National du Pin
  • Panneau Camembert