MANZAT, France

In 2020 an interesting project began in France supported by a group of local people.

They decided to create a makerspace in an old garage and renovate two old farms for hosting resident Makers.

Location contact : Corentin Blanc

History

Manzat is a village located in the middle of France. It is set in lovely countryside in the North of the La Chaine des Puys a natural park of extinct volcanoes, in the beautiful Auvergne region.🌋

The region offers visitors, and more particularly nature lovers, very different landscapes: large and open green spaces, beautiful woodlands…along with the many volcanoes the landscape contrasts are striking, there are many wild places to explore.

1 371 inhabitants live in Manzat, a village with a population density of 35/km2. The village has a library and 3 schools for children from 3 to 16 years old, and has all the essential services and businesses.

« Obviously, it is small french village open for international experience »

Manzat became a focul point of the commune, gathering 29 municipalities. The territory covers a total area of 425 km², and has 19 302 inhabitants.

Vision

The project has started with the physical reconstruction of abandoned old farms and garages where they will gather together a local makers community.

They are creating a rural Makerspace that will be accesible every day, both  to local members and international residents.

This will create an eclectic community of young volunteers, curious citizens, entrepreneurs, international artists or makers, where they can feel free to use the space and facilities as a part of the community.

This includes; local homes to host international makers and workspaces, educational possibilities to combine digital and analogue knowledge, processes and capabilities, created to work in concert with local projects. The project aspires to highlight the power of the makers movement in the reinvention of and contribution to a sustainable future, created in ways that are replicable and open sourced.

Project

It has the ultimate goal to launch and settle a makers community in middle France, to facilitate and provide an enabling environment for the current and next generation of makers.

  • EDUCATION and LONG LIFE LEARNING

To attract skills from diverse sectors that contribute to the empowerment both the youth and elders of local communities.

  • CULTURAL and SOCIAL INCLUSION

To attract international citizens to meet with local people, so they can inspire each other.

  • ENTREPRENEURSHIP and INNOVATION

To attract talents from all over the world to contribute to the development of the Region.

 

Strong points

Community

The purpose of the project is to bring together many people from differing fields. Already more than 50 individuals have visited so far! The association has already got it’s first members. A very engaged community is growing behind the development of this project.

Spaces (aprox.)
The owner of the garage is also one of the co-founders of the project and provides access to:

  • 300m2 dedicated for the Makerspace and diverse facilities
  • 2 old renovated farms for long and short term residencies.
  • 3 parking spaces for nomad m_hackers.


Tools

So far all the tools they are using belong to members and friends of the project. They allow us to use these tools for the renovation. It includes a large quantity of wood working equipmement, tig welding equipment and a large quantity of hand tools. We also have access to tracors and mechanical facilities for our renovation days !

Since the start of these 2-3 years of renovation, they have been looking for donations of equipment. and they have so far been donated:
– a 3D printer
– a metal lathe
– a wood lathe
– hand tools
waiting to be given to the Makerspace when it is open !

They also look forward to direct purchases and/or providing; the workshop to build them, CNC equipment including routers, laser cutters, milling equipment, etc

Connections

Manzat is located 30 km far from Clermont-Ferrand which offers good local transportation, including bus lines and trains

  • Train connexion – Clermont-Ferrand – 35 min by car
  • Manzat has a direct access to A89 highway – 2km
  • Nearest Airport – Clermont-Ferrand – 35 min by car
  • Main regional airport – Lyon – 2hrs by car

Partners

The project is jointly-led by several local and national partners, in a list that keeps expanding. These include 

  1. Association Mountain Makers
  2. French Fablab Network
  3. Vulca European Program

The Dream

In 10 years Manzat will become a well eqquiped rural makerspace with  an enthusiastic community, a place where artists, makers, researchers, and other creatives, from local citizens to international residents can work on their projects in a unique rural environment.

 » It is the perfect place for studying theory and for getting hands dirty with practice. »

There is a large makerspace, boosting tools and knowledge that attract
makers – both aspirational and accomplished. The local community is very active running projects. And every year they await new residents to come to collaborate with them.

 

Help needed 

  1. Importing a large mix of skills to renovate these buildings
  2. Support in access funding for the project
  3. Advising for launching our first official residency offers