The Artois-Flandres Industrial Estate came into being in 1967. It was on the initiative of 20 town councillors whose aim was to forestall future employment problems that would arise in the wake of the decline of the coal industry. And with a view to permanence, a legal body was created at the outset to deal with questions of development and administration : the SIZIAF.
The SIZIAF entrusted the SEPAC (Société d’Economie Mixte du Pas de Calais) with the initial development of the Estate. It took care of the setting up of the first firm to arrive on the Estate : the far from insignificant « Française de Mécanique ». SNC, an intermediary between Renault and PSA, with a workforce of up to 6,000, manufactures engines for the automobile industry.
Encouraged by such an important arrival, the Estate was eager to pursue its expansion and thus create further employment.
Hence the SIZIAF recruited a team of technicians and so modified its status from a purely legal body to a practical one. And the SIZIAF’s latest employees, to begin with a manager and secretary, moved into a new building right in the centre of the Estate, so as to be closer to the companies.
In the eighties, with the arrival of a new Chairman at the head of the SIZIAF, M. Marcel Cabiddu, further expansion was achieved thanks to a dynamic canvassing policy to attract new companies, combined with the necessary financial back-up to enable growth. More industrial units were added and modern facilities were built (road repairs were carried out, a new water treatment unit was constructed).
So at a rapid pace, more and more firms were set up, making a total of nearly 60 at present.
At the same time, an environmental management project got underway : with the new water recycling unit aforementioned, the creation of high quality green areas, public street lighting, new roundabouts, etc.
The aim was to enhance the Estate’s assets by offering firms an ecologically-friendly workplace. The SIZIAF has never lost sight of this fundamental aim, consequently the companies on the Estate are proud of their location.
Currently, the SIZIAF has eight members devoted to the promotion of the Artois-Flandres Industrial Estate and has been awarded the certification ISO 14001 for all its undertakings.