Help show vital role of Britons to south west France?

An economics lecturer wants to gauge readers’ support to continue his research on Britons’ importance to the south west’s economy.

27 November 2019
By Oliver Rowland

Dr Vincent Lagarde from Li­moges University, (pictured left), aims to find out about how much Britons contribute to the area’s prosperity – and the risks if large numbers should leave or cease to come.

He has been running studies in Nouvelle-Aquitaine for two years and hopes to continue from 2020-23 to cover a wider area and to involve more experts, such as geographers, sociologists and legal experts.

He aims, especially in the context of Brexit, to find out more about how Britons contribute to the area’s prosperity and the risks if large numbers of Britons should leave or cease to come.

He hopes to raise part of the funds from the British community, which he says would help show the work’s importance, and to obtain funding from French authorities. British people and firms interested in principle in contributing to a crowdfunder to help pay expenses such as travel, investigations, publishing etc, should contact 

Dr Lagarde said: “So far I’ve studied small areas because I’ve not had a lot of funds.

“We need more proof and more data, as there are differences: the picture isn’t the same in the Creuse as in Perigord.

“People tell me they don’t know if the work I’ve done is representative. So far, I’ve not proved that the British are important to the whole of Nouvelle-Aquitaine.”

He hopes to show how an influx of Britons to underpopulated areas has helped those areas stay prosperous. “I’ve shown that the economy within the British community itself is bigger than was thought: they consume and invest locally and have children in schools and they help French firms keep going by buying building materials or eating out.”

Dr Lagarde has shared findings with politicians and said that while mayors were often already aware, those at higher levels often are not.

He said the regional council is supportive to Britons but asked him to obtain more figures to show what needs to be done.

He investigated how British-run firms can stay competitive and integrated despite Brexit and is planning a training scheme, with a chamber of trade, to be called Prépa Brexit.

Previous articles

Study to find out importance of Britons to south-west (2018)

Training to prepare British workers in France

Brexit reveals Britons' undocumented lives in France (scroll down for comments from Dr Lagarde)

Connexion also carried a full-page interview with Dr Lagarde in our original guide to Brexit and Britons in France in 2018. Click here for the latest edition of the guide.

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