"The birthplace of Quimper and the tourist gateway to the town centre, Locmaria will gain in appeal. Tourist, economic, cultural and heritage issues related to these developments are of paramount importance for the city and the Cornouaille conglomeration. Locmaria is the heart of Quimper, the capital of Brittany, and an area that is dear to Ludovic Jolivet. "Guillaume Menguy, deputy responsible for planning, quality of life, urban renewal and green spaces.
Locmaria’s fame goes back a long way: already occupied in Gallo-Roman times, the port city saw the pottery industry go from strength to strength. Now it is time to return the district to its former glory. Important works are scheduled for the redevelopment of public spaces and the introduction of new economic and cultural activities.
From the 1st century Locmaria was at the centre of trade, due to its proximity to the River Odet. The urban centre then shifted towards Quimper. Construction began on the Church in the 11th century, closely followed by the Priory. At the end of the 17th century the master potter Jean-Baptiste Bousquet moved there and the iconic stoneware factory HB-Henriot continues to shine a worldwide spotlight on Quimper. Another exceptional heritage feature is the Priory garden, which is classified as « remarkable ».
A wide perimeter
It is around these three entities that the city decided to launch a programme of urban renewal to enhance the cultural and touristic role of the district and its economic activities. As one of the main entrances to the city centre it is landlocked and sometimes cluttered with cars, at the expense of the beauty of the area.
It is an ambitious project, and its perimeter will stretch from the place Bérardier to the place Styvel. It will be conducted in collaboration with local participants, in particular the Locmaria Village Association.
The total cost is estimated to be between 2 and 2.5 million €.
A new road and car park
The former administrative building for the stoneware factory, which currently houses the embroidery school, will be preserved. The city has launched an appeal for projects suitable for this building, which will host innovative and area-related activities, incorporating heritage, cultural, touristic and economic elements.
The adjoining building, the former home of the director, will be demolished. Other large scale demolitions include the disused warehouses (formerly "Loisirs 3000") which, being covered with posters, are very visible from the rue Haute. This will lead to a new perspective. Running parallel to the rue Bousquet will be a « pottery alley », which will start near the factory (where there is a courtyard), leading to a wooded 34-space car park. A new life for this very old neighbourhood!
Place Bérardier will become a proper square with cobblestones, opening out onto the banks of the Odet where bleachers will be created, giving beautiful views of the River. The medieval garden is to be extended towards the square.
Place du Styvel will be reinstated as a square on the Fouillen house side.
The two locations will be able to accommodate new economic activities and local artists, both temporary and permanent. They will bring vitality to the district, providing entertainment, markets, flea markets...