Chantiers Tramasset, France ()

1. Presentation of the association
1. A living cultural heritage .
The association Chantiers Tramasset, (Tramasset Shipyard) , a non–denominational, not
for profit organisation, has 186 members and 8 employees today, 6 are full-time and two are
three-quarter time. This association has invested a significant heritage site of the Gironde,
located 20km upstream of Bordeaux:
Tramasset old shipyards, along the Garonne, were abandoned since 1985. Within what had
become a wasteland, the association began to bring back to life the buildings in collaboration
with the municipality of Le Tourne, and to revive the shipbuilding business. Through this
activity, the association «Chantiers Tramasset», founded in 1997, promotes the preservation of
the site and its naval heritage while raising a wide audience. This site is now open to all projects
which develop social and civic activities
The association leads projects and uses wooden boats as supports for cultural and social
programmes. The association is a place to meet and exchange knowledge and know-how between
generations around the maritime and fluvial heritage, a place of cultures and living and current
The association is part of the Popular Education movement and Social Economy, working in the
field of vocational training, technical innovation, participative cultural activities and local
development. Its resources come from ship building activities and public funding, in order to
carry out activities of «general interest».
2. The French association model, democracy at work.
(see Powerpoint)
3. « Our river tomorrow” : between heritage and innovation
In 2009, the association extends its activities while implementing the project «Our river
tomorrow ». The most important aspects are, the traditional Coureau boat building and the
rehabilitation of the building of the Chantiers Tramasset . These two actions are making the
Shipyard and the river into a dynamic place (built heritage redevelopment, community activities
in the shipyard, community activities on the river...), and re-establishing some craft activities
and setting them in a historic vision.
This perpetuation of craftsmanship, and of heritage development, is one of the best
means for the younger generations to rediscover this disappearing heritage. The pedagogical
effect is obvious.
The territory around Tramasset and the port of Langoiran has had a strong social and economic
identity for scores of years. We wish to show it off and to transmit its history, we consider it as
being important for us all today.
1. About the rehabilitation of the Chantiers Tramasset
The municipality of Le Tourne is the owner of the Chantiers Tramasset . The whole site
is in the French Historic Monument Inventory by ordinance before 2008.
The association has the use of the site free of charge. In return, the association maintains the
site in working order. But today, the buildings are in a bad shape because of the time passed
without upkeep. This project enables us to go about the important repairs, for instance, making
a new roof for the little shipyard, making a new little shipyard hall, repairing a part of the big
shipyard roof, developing the river bank,..), while giving people the opportunity to participate,
and transmitting traditional techniques.
2. About the « Coureau » boat building
The work started in autumn 2012 . Two wood boat shipwrights built this boat all the year
long. A “coureau” is a sort of local working boat for the transport of wine ands rocks.
The choice of the “Henriette” as a model boat was an obvious one. It's the last
“coureau” sloop which worked in Langoiran-Le Tourne and the memory of it is still very much
alive. Its last navigation was in the ‘70s.
The association didn’t have the building diagrams of the boat, and so had to search in the past
historical diagrams, and rely on the expertise of the elder members of the local communities for
When it is launched, this boat, 16 metres long and 5 metres wide , will discover the Garonne,
and the Dordogne rivers, and the Gironde.
4. Different dynamic activities (1 association , 2 mediums , 3 main activities)
The 8 employees have jobs corresponding to their training and proficiencies except for Bernard,
who is in charge of managing the overall project and the activities which are part of it.
1. Shipyard activity, handing down know- how on the site.
The shipbuilding workshop continues to hand down the traditional skills and know-how
by the wooden boat building and renovation activities. There are on the one hand, boats
belonging to the association itself, and on the other hand, boats entrusted to the association for
up-keep or repairing.
To maintain and repair the wooden boats belonging to the association, some members gather on
winter week ends. Among the group of members, some people have the knowledge required to
go about the repairs. But, when they come across something they can’t do, they talk to the
professional shipbuilders to have a diagnostic and advice.
The building and repairing of customers’ wooden boats and the Coureau building is under the
responsibility of the professional shipbuilders. Only for the Coureau and only during the week,
can some members come to work with them on the site..
Tramasset shipyard is open to all generations, giving an opportunity for lifelong learning.
Our aim, as an association, is to give people a place to meet in, to share their views on life, to
confront their ideas, so they may come to feel that they have their place in society.
2. A site for local community activities.
The association organises cultural events in partnership with other associations. Its aim is
to promote the discovery or the rediscovery of the maritime and fluvial heritage, among
members, a young and very young public, the local people, and the public attending these
events. They may be located in the Shipyard itself, or on the move.
Some main events:
♣ The meeting of Wood Boats and Other Wind Instruments takes place each summer,
with on the one hand, sailing activities on the local rivers (Garonne, Dordogne) and on
the other hand, artistic meetings and festivities in the Shipyard.
♣ The Shipyard Band,
♣ “Looking at things in another light” : days on the discovery of sensitive natural zones
around Tramasset, in partnership with an association working with children.
♣ With partner associations, sailing of a fleet near home and farther afield.
Before the association was set up, we received disabled people and people in social difficulties.
Our aim was to give them the opportunity to gain recognition through manual work.
3. Training activity, A vocational training site.
About the question « Using EU funding programmes to strengthen professional boat
building carpentry training », we feel there has been a misunderstanding.
In fact, we have in-company training sessions for shipbuilding trainees in regional or national
vocational training, but we are not main their training body. We also have non-professional
training sessions for members wishing to learn about wood boat building.
Our training activity is in another field. In 2010, we were recognised by the French Ministry of
Labour as a Training Body for frame work training, making traditional timber roof structures,
stairs …
In 9 months, 11 trainees prepare an examination to obtain a national diploma, delivered by the
French Ministry Of Labour
For hands - on experience, the frame carpentry trainees work on the site rehabilitation, and
acquire a bit of extra experience by working on the Coureau.
5. Taking advantage of our cultural heritage to promote local development, and to give
opportunities to those wanting to fit into a job again.
A « second chance” training plan fits into a local development programme, for people having
stopped work quite a while ago. This gives them a qualification , and ultimately, a job. This
training plan is carried by the Regional Local Authorities, but can only be implemented with the
help of the other Local Authorities, for instance the Departement , the municipalities, and the
Groups of municipalities.
But the involvement of the Local Authorities is not sufficient …
5. An ambitious project calls for several sources of funding.
Setting up a project such as “Our river tomorrow” is ambitious, and has an impact on a
large area. So it is expensive, and the association cannot rely on the funds generated by its own
Moreover, local funding for associations is diminishing regularly in France. The
association is obliged to be innovative, and to propose new projects all the time.
So we were obliged to apply to financial partners for funding ; these partners agree with
our ultimate aims, and may be interested by what we do with these funds for different reasons.
In fact, co-financing, with both public and private funds, is the most adapted to our needs.
(see powerpoint)
6. Focus on Leader Fund.
LEADER meaning 'Links between the rural economy and development actions' is a local
development method which allows local actors to develop an area by using its indigenous
development potential. The LEADER approach forms one of the four axes of the Rural
Development Policy 2007–2013.
Every structured rural area, in each European country, could have LEADER funds to
develop projects.
In our territory, "le Pays Coeur Entre-deux-Mers" is a Local Action Group and in 2008
it chose to improve and diversify local economic activities (tourism, service to the
public, local heritage, ...).
7. mobilisation de l'équipe pour le fond leader
8. Communication in Tramasset Shipyards.
There are one full-time and one three-quarter time persons in charge of communication.
Their job is to highlight all special events in the Shipyards, such as the community activities
presented above, and also the events around the Coureau and the rehabilitation of the site.
In 2013 :
The Coureau :
fitting in the keel, turning the boat right –side-up.
The rehabilitation of the shipyard:
Putting the new truss into place.
Different mediums used to spread the news :
Internal means of communication,
the newspaper of the association “Le Presse – Etoupe”
o Facebook
o the web site
o Calendar
External means of communication:
o The main regional newspaper “Sud Ouest” (distributed from the Spanish border to
about 200 km north of Bordeaux)
o The national magazine “Chasse Marée” , (deals with the boats of French
Heritage, and the life of people through the ages. )
o Local television TV7.
9. conclusion
Our activity and our professional positions make us depend upon each other, which goes for
mutual enrichment. Through this way of working, we aim to propose a model where things are
done, and decisions taken, with coordination and discussion between us, rather than in a system
of hierarchical responsibilities.
With the Leader Funds, we have shown how important European funding is for us, and
how the proficiency of each professional of the team is cross-sector.
Taking advantage of European Funding is undeniably positive for associations and for training
To set up the different projects, the Shipyard has used European funding in several fields:
2005 – 2008:
Co – financing with European Solidarity Funds was used for Professional Integration Projects.
2011 – 2014:
We got an agreement for Leader Funds on cultural heritage , but we refused to use it for the
“training” section, as we were receiving European Solidarity Funding for that.
We used a Leonardo funding for a project on frame work training. 4 Trainees went elsewhere in
Europe to learn the skills of traditional frame work in other countries, and to develop their
capacities of mobility. 2 went to Finland, 1 to Portugal and 1 to Estonia.
A Leonardo for the current EU Boat project.
In our experience,we observe some thinks to take care in European Funding using.
However, we wish to underline some less positive aspects :
The payment of the European Solidarity Funds only comes 2 years after the Professional
Integration Project training sessions are finished. This means our cashflow was seriously
impaired, and it is one of the reasons why this sort of Professional Integration Project had
to be stopped in the association. ( 2005 to 2008)
The setting-up of the documents for application takes a great deal of time; you need to
have a person in the team spending time on it.
Today, funding of this sort is essential for the development of associative projects, but
they demand knowledge,
proficiency and time, and the projects may be weakened
because of that.
In our estimated budget and assessment, there is no budget line for the managing of the
To apply for European financing, you need to fill the criteria to be eligible for it, and to be in
harmony with local policy;
- You need to limit your demand to a particular aspect of a project, rather than to the
whole of it;
- You need to have local financing to compensate for the time it takes for European funding
to arrive.
You need to remember that it will really take up a lot of time.
♣ So that all the different aspects of the association be conducted , the professionals take part
in each of them, even though at the start, their main proficiency did not correspond to what
they do now.
Working in an association of this sort today means that people have a multiple competence and
are ready to develop others., according to the needs of the association.