Rehabilitate a rural station to make it a social, versatile and unifying place of culture that brings together audiences of all backgrounds. Renovating the old building so as not to lose it, being at the forefront of an economic and artistic project that aims to reconquer rural spaces, this is the ambition of a small commune of Morvan.

Presentation of the project

The “Avant gare” is located in Anost, Saône and Loire commune of 728 inhabitants in the Morvan Regional Nature Park. The building was used as a train station when the old tacot line, linking Autun to Château-Chinon, was still operating. What can we do with this building, which can no longer return to its former function? This historic building was for a long time a cafe-restaurant that welcomed the people of passage and the inhabitants of the commune. Today, the station in Vaumignon needs to be modernized and reinvented so that it can once again become a place of meeting, social connection and local animation. The municipality then launches a call for proposals.

The aim is to transform the entire space through a public-private partnership, creating jobs and economic activity for locals and tourists alike.

In 2021, the project of 2 candidates is selected. A bar-restaurant, a pop-up shop, a creative workshop and a music studio. Attractive commercial services that will favor short circuits and local craftsmen-producers, in the form of a SARL, but also an association of a cultural and educational nature to federate the inhabitants, small and large, around the project. The Vaumignon station will also offer electric bicycle rental because it is located on a green axis laid out by the community of municipalities, linking the central canal to the Nivernais canal.

The municipality is carrying out the work in order to improve the energy performance of this former station using natural materials and ecological systems. For the reception of the public, the building must be redesigned to allow safety and accessibility for all, but also to be able to operate all the activities of the future structure.

The emblematic character of the project

The local action group Leader Morvan for the period 2014-2022 aimed to support initiatives and act on potential activities. The action implemented for this project is based on two levers, one of which is the provision of activities and structuring, thereby contributing to the attractiveness and retention of the rural workforce. The offer of services in Morvan tended to decrease because it did not have the means to modernize, to innovate. Financial risk-taking in rural areas seemed to be a major obstacle for entrepreneurs. The financial support of the community met the requirement of both organizational and economic innovation of the Leader strategy of the Morvan territory. Indeed, the idea of the call for projects of the municipality is a real tool of public-private collaborative approach. The project of the successful candidates had an undeniable social and cultural dimension without, however, neglecting a commercial vocation, aimed at the sustainability of the activity, the creation of jobs in the territory. By carrying out a business plan to respond to the call for projects, the future tenants of the site modeled their project, making it transferable to other rural territories.

The architecture of the building itself is intended to be innovative: to preserve the rural station aspect, to blend into the landscape, while offering a modern structure and habitat, meeting the challenge of transition.


Commune d’ANOST