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Lille and Nantes. Two Cities.

Nantes and Lille rank among France’s ten biggest cities. Nantes Métropole, the urban community of Nantes and Lille Métropole, the urban community of Lille are among the largest amalgamated communities in the country. Lille’s geographical position – not far from the United Kingdom, near the Netherlands and next to Belgium – represents a real advantage for the development of regional and cross-border initiatives. Nantes is a harbour city, open to the world.

Lille and Nantes have a common industrial past that has marked their urban landscape and their identity. In the late 80s Nantes was severely affected by de-industrialisation; this led to the closing down of the shipyards, leaving the economy in decline and the city in a state of dormancy. With the textile industry crisis that began in the early 70s and lasted until the 90s and the mining industry crisis of the same period, the whole Nord-Pas-de-Calais Region was affected.

Thanks to restructuring and modernisation in the 90s, Lille and its surrounding area were able to pull out of the crisis. However, the state of the area remains fragile.

Lille and Nantes have both successfully bet on culture as development lever; this has energised the two cities, enhanced their image and raised their profile.




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Espace Culture – Lille 1

Maisons Folie


Zem Theatre


Nantes - Culture 'à la nantaise'

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