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Pays de la baie du Mont-Saint-Michel

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The Mont-Saint-Michel: world heritage
Tourism: 1st economic activity
Seafood exploitation: Granville, France's 1st shellfish port
Dynamic industrial sectors: coach-building, agrifood, luxury goods, electrical equipment, thalassotherapy, cabinetwork...
A strategic location: the Estuaries motorway

Located to the south of the Manche department, the Pays de la Baie du Mont-Saint-Michel covers a contrasting landscape from its densely populated coastal zone to its eastern, rural and poorly populated area. The Pays, which encompasses 183 communes, is home to 144,916 inhabitants over a total surface area of 1,937km2. Population density is 75 inhabitants per square kilometre. The Pays benefits from a strategic position within the Atlantic Arc motorway network, with direct access to northern and southern Europe thanks to the Estuaries motorway (A84), and just a three-hour train journey from Paris via the Paris-Granville line.

For many years and up to very recently, the decline in agricultural employment, particularly severe in the south Manche, was such that the growth in salaried employment provided insufficient compensation. Fortunately, this is no longer the case and, over the last few years, job creation in the south Manche has been superior to job losses.
The tertiary sector is responsible for many of these new jobs (+59%), in particular throughout trade outlets, hotels and restaurants, together with health and social welfare. Building and construction work have also been particularly active, predominantly thanks to the area's attractiveness among retired couples originating from the Parisian basin. Naturally, coastal areas are the most popular zones for such residential expansion, and are largely preferred to inland areas.
Without being an explicitly industrial area, the south Manche has nevertheless developed a few specific market niches:
- Agrifood: a variety of activities. Abattoirs Industriels de la Manche in Sainte-Cécile (meat production), Société Fromagère in Sainte-Cécile, Société Beurrière in Isigny-le-Buat, Compagnie des Fromages in Ducey (dairy products), Lu (Kraft Foods) in Granville, the Biscuiterie de la Baie du Mont-Saint-Michel in Senier-sous-Avranches (biscuit production) and Lesaffre Ingrédients Services, specialising in food drying and packaging and products for bread-making (yeast), located in Cérences.

- Metallurgy, one of the mainstays of local industry, is undergoing fundamental change. Hence, the company Guy Degrenne
closed its Sourdeval factory in 2002. Isigny-le-Buat remains home to the sector's leading employers: Sirec in the field of reprocessing, and Electropoli, specialising in metal finishing for the automotive industry. The latter, specialised in metal finishing for the motor industry, has recently launched a relocation plan, which is a blow to local employment.

- The automotive industry is also represented in the south Manche by the coach-building company, Chereau, (from the German group, Kögel), located in two sites in Avranches and Ducey. However, subsequent to major difficulty, the company was forced into bankruptcy in 2003, and was taken over by the German group Kögel. The company MTM in Avranches, manufacturing horse vans, is also worthy of mention.

- Textile/clothing/leather goods in the luxury goods sector. With two leading names, Saint-James and Louis Vuitton, together with Grandis in St Pair, specialising in the design and manufacture of luxury clothing.

The Pays is also home to major industrial firms working in disparate markets:
- The largest is Acome, specialised in wiring, optical fibre, cables and synthetic tubes and located in Romagny by Mortain;
followed by Alliora, specialising in luxury packaging and located in Saint-Hilaire-du-Harcouët and Stelmi (rubber items for pharmaceutical and medical use) located in both Brécey and Granville. Millet group: PVC fittings (Granville), wooden front door manufacture (Sartilly).

  • Carte du Pays de la Baie du Mont St Michel
  • Le Mont-Saint-Michel au crépuscule
  • Fabrication de la  fibre optique
  • Emploi pays de la baie du Mont
  • Vue aérienne Tricots Saint James