Lot-et-Garonne: “Les Horlogers du Temps”, a large tourist project in La Croix-Blanche and mixed inhabitants

the essential
The company Mundiparks, which is leading the creation of an innovative theme park with investments of 200 million euros, unveiled the main lines of the project during a public meeting in La Croix-Blanche, where it will be built on private land. Contrasting, enchanted, perplexed or radically rejecting residents.

2027. The place called Poulère in La Croix-Blanche, just over a kilometer west of the RN21, was completely transformed. No more fields, wild groves and the only house on the property: make way for the “Horlogers du Temps”, a new theme park. Not a merry-go-round, but a place geared towards digital entertainment, knowledge and the environment… mainly underground. “A spatiotemporal, playful and immersive journey in Lot-et-Garonne” moves the video of the company Mundiparks, which supports this project, during its presentation to the residents of La Croix-Blanche. A first public meeting was organized on Monday evening in the town’s community center, which was almost too small to accommodate the 300 participants, residents of the village and neighboring towns. Anyone curious to know more about this theme park that could radically change the life of this hamlet on the border of the Greater Villeneuvois agglomeration.

Thierry Beugnet, President of Mundiparks, has been fine-tuning his concept for several years. He surrounded himself with several partners – designers, art directors, etc. – creating an unprecedented park in France. After prospecting in the Gironde, the project leaders turned to Lot-et-Garonne. “We saw the appeal of Center Parcs,” says the boss of Mundiparks. After an initial attempt to establish themselves in Fourques-sur-Garonne, which failed – the property in question was in the middle of the state forest – Mundiparks then found land for sale in the town of La Croix-Blanche through Safer . Red.), which the members of the company will visit at the beginning of April 2022. The mayor of the municipality, Gilles Charolais, was then informed “of this major project”. The numbers that are fed to him make you dizzy…

800,000 visitors per year

300 people came to attend the presentation of the project in the Cruciblanchaise community hall.
DDM – Jean Louis Pozzo

To be honest, the file is already well put together: the park will extend over 100 hectares with a 2,000-seat arcade, the 75% green area, 400 jobs, 800,000 expected visitors per year and 200 million investments. “85 million euros are the cost of the works, the budget of the Arena de Bordeaux,” Thierry Beugnet defended. A new road will have to be built to access the 14 acre car park, designed to accommodate thousands of vehicles at peak times. Despite some graphics, the project manager remained a little vague about the outline of this park, what it could look like concretely, apart from its innovative and ecologically virtuous side. And it’s partly this lack of visibility that worries many of the residents present that evening. Mundiparks wanted to play the consultation card and saw an outcry from some residents.

Questions about maintaining quality of life, roads for farmers, but also strong positions on the feasibility of such a project. The comparison with the decline in visitors at Futuroscope, Vulcania and others and above all the “ecological aspect” of the Mundipark, which many residents questioned. “We cannot defend ecology and amusement parks at the same time”, “a site you will devastate”, “the ecological argument while CO2 will increase”, the atmosphere is tense over the questions-answers. Some go so far as to imagine setting up a ZAD on site and delaying things considerably. Despite the awkward comments, Thierry Beugnet stays squarely in his boots. He is sometimes supported by the Mayor of Cruciblanchais and by the President of the Agglo of Villeneuvoise, Guillaume Lepers, particularly on the employment side. “The situation is complicated, the employment and training figures that we have are dramatic. We need these 400 jobs,” he asserts, “appalled” by some of the statements. Much discussion and questions remain surrounding this major project and a transaction that ultimately takes place between a private owner and a private contractor.

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