Memorandum of understanding for Monaco Marine, Ports Toulon Provence and CCI du Var

Yesterday, at the Monaco Yacht Show, the Monaco Marine group, the Ports Toulon Provence port authority and its concession-holder CCI du Var, signed a memorandum of understanding regarding the redevelopment of the Bois Sacré site in Toulon Harbour near La Seyne sur Mer.

Monaco Marine proposes to redevelop part of this site, covering almost 30,000 m2 in total, and to create two separate zones that will be home to various activities related to the maintenance, repair and refit of sail and motor boats from 10m to 60m LOA.

The development of these two zones will involve the installation of workshops, reception areas, warehouses and covered work areas in the “Magasin Général” building, located in an abandoned industrial area in the former Normed shipyards. The total project involves 4,000 m2 of warehouse space and 570 m2 of workshops, leaving over 24,500 m2 of hard standing areas for external works.

The project, which should be completed in the second half of 2015, represents a major opportunity in terms of economic, workforce and environmental development. It will also enable Monaco Marine to keep up with changes in its fast-moving market, making the La Seyne site the heart of a constantly expanding business in the very near future. As a result, the project justifies the investment of almost €16 million of public and private funding, and an occupation period set at 50 years.

This partnership represents the culmination of talks with various local entities that began almost four years ago. Robert Cavanna, chairman of Ports Toulon Provence said, "Ports Toulon Provence has fulfilled its role of port authority by finding solutions to various obstacles and resolving all kinds of legal and administrative issues, so that a company might be created on the publicly owned French shoreline. The port authority also led negotiations to arrange financing suitable to all parties."

The Var Region Chamber of Commerce and Industry welcomed the arrival of Monaco Marine. Jacques Bianchi, chairman of CCI du Var said, "I congratulate Monaco Marine for choosing the Bois Sacré site for its first refit centre for large catamarans. This activity will breathe new life into the site and continue its tradition of naval repair work, by providing an excellent service for superyachts. Most importantly, this investment of private capital once again emphasises the competitiveness and appeal of the Var marine industry, and will create jobs."

Overall, Monaco Marine expects 40 direct jobs and 100 indirect jobs to be created.

Monaco Marine believes that the new site will generate annual revenue of around €6 million. A sales team dealing specifically with the new site and the multihull market will be developed alongside existing teams. The team will be supported by the skills of the group's technicians and other staff.

In addition, seasonal business arising from yacht servicing activities between October and June will provide valuable support to existing businesses in the area, such as hotels and restaurants.

According to Michel Ducros, the founder and president of the Monaco Marine group, "This project will supplement our range of services for the yachting market. We regard the Bois Sacré site of La Seyne as a natural extension of our current network in this strategic part of the Mediterranean basin. By redeveloping the Bois Sacré site, we are taking part in the development that is already underway, adding to the momentum of local projects."

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