Design: why are creative companies setting their sights on Nantes?

On Friday 3 July, a number of prospects from Paris were invited to discover the thriving Creative and Cultural Industries sector in Nantes.

On Friday 3 July, a number of prospects from Paris were invited to discover the thriving Creative and Cultural Industries sector in Nantes. Why are more and more design, video and decoration businesses relocating to Nantes?  


Design, visual arts (video, motion graphics, video games), media, communication, architecture... the creative and cultural industries sector is building momentum and taking hold on the western tip of the Ile de Nantes.


1- A thriving creative and cultural scene for designers

Blackmeal, Les Studios de l'Ile, Rosemood, and Structures, all recently arrived from Paris, are unanimous: moving to Nantes has given their business a strong boost. Specializing in birth announcements, Rosemood is growing incredibly fast (increasing from 3 to 55 employees in 3 years) and has just opened a website dedicated to the German market ( "We work with designers and in Nantes we find all the resources we need in terms of creativity". Riding the wave of video and motion design, Blackmeal has doubled its revenue each year. "I realized that here, everything is easier than in Paris," said Matthew Colombel, who believes that Nantes has what it takes to become a vital hub of motion design.

2- The Ile de Nantes, fertile ground for creativity

On the Ile de Nantes, one of the largest brownfield sites in Europe, these new start-ups are taking advantage of fertile ground. Currently under construction, the Alstom Halles will reopen in 2017, with 90,000 m2 of activities, including 3,900 m2 dedicated to the creative arts and space for creative businesses. The School of Fine Arts is planning to move here, as well as the University of Nantes with study programs focusing on the creative arts. With the School of Architecture and numerous educational programs in the creative field (Cinécréatis, Graphic Arts Centre), the future Creative Arts District will bring upwards of 4,000 students, 1,000 creative jobs and hundreds of researchers to the Ile de Nantes. Close by, a 300-m2 FabLab, a maker lab where people can manufacture all kinds of prototypes, facilitates the work of designers, many of whom are graduates of the School of Design.

3- Business incubators and coworking spaces dedicated to design

Among the many coworking spaces, the latest, "La Fabrique des Artisans Coiffeurs" will open to 40 creative and cultural enterprises in early 2016. It complements the other spaces dedicated to the creative and cultural industries, including Le Karting, which houses 50 small creative companies in a hangar, la Fabrique, a space dedicated to electronic and digital music, and the Cantine Numérique which offers coworking spaces.

4- Supporting economic development of the creative industries

In Nantes, the creative industries are supported by an entire ecosystem. In 2014 the Creative Arts District Cluster provided 160 companies with valuable marketing services and assistance finding seed and development funding.

A key event, the Creative Factory gives a boost to a dozen or so business projects per year. The Nantes Saint-Nazaire Development Agency facilitates the start-up or relocation of these high growth companies.

5- A living environment conducive to creation

Nantes is a city on a human scale, driven by culture, with an excellent public transport system, and companies appreciate the gain in quality of life for their employees. "Since we moved to Nantes, our employees and designers have become more creative" say the pleased owners of Rosemood.


>> Learn more about the Creative and cultural industries sector