Limoges Métropole

Limoges Métropole is a Public Authority for Inter-Municipal Cooperation (Etablissement Public de Coopération Intercommunale - EPCI) representing 18 municipalities in the greater Limoges area. With 203,000 residents, almost half of the total population of the Haute-Vienne department, Limoges Métropole is the 3rd largest agglomeration in the south-west of France.
Centred around the city of Limoges, international capital of ceramic arts, the agglomeration has all of the academic, medical and cultural resources befitting a regional capital without the drawbacks associated with bigger cities.
Limoges offers a superior quality of life, with a superb natural environment, a mild climate and two thousand years’ worth of cultural heritage. Limoges also has one of the lowest crime rates in France, adheres strictly to the latest environmental standards and enjoys a refreshing lack of traffic jams.

A strategic location
The Limoges Métropole area covers a total of 472 km², connected to the A20 motorway (part of the transcontinental highway linking Barcelona to London – no tolls for 300 km around Limoges), the A89 (Bordeaux–Lyon) , the Atlantic Coast-Central Europe route ( Nantes-Geneva), Limoges Bellegarde international airport (300,000 passengers/year) and the Paris-Toulouse-Barcelona railway line.

Road transport:
Limoges Métropole is located at the point where the only north-south axial road which is not saturated meets the key east-west axis which links central Europe to the Atlantic seaboard without passing via Paris. This strategic position puts Limoges at the centre of a transportation network serving 200 million consumers.

Road travel times:
Paris: 3:30, Toulouse: 2:30, Lyon: 3:40, Bordeaux: 2:30 , La Rochelle:3:00 ; Clermont-Ferrand: 2:20 , Poitiers: 1:50 , Brive: 1:00 , Nantes: 3:40 (par la route)

Air travel:
Limoges Bellegarde international airport can handle air traffic in any weather, with regular direct flights to various key European destinations and numerous charter services. 300,000 passengers pass through the airport every year.

Flight times:
Paris: 50 minutes, Lyon: 1 hour, Milan: 1:30, Geneva: 1:30, Madrid: 2 hours

Regular direct flights to: Ajaccio,  Bristol,  Leeds-Bradford,  Liverpool,  London-Stansted,  Lyon,  Marseille,  Newcastle, Nice,  Nottingham,  Paris-Orly,  Southampton
Rail links:
Limoges is on the Paris-Toulouse line. Limoges Bénédictins train station is an inter-modal transfer hub.

Train travel times:
Bordeaux: 2:20 , Brive-la-Gaillarde: 1:00, Clermont-Ferrand: 4:00, Lyon: 5:30, Paris: 2:50, Périgueux: 1:00

Public transport (2012 figures from TCL):
  27 week-day lines, including 5 trolley bus routes
  998 stops, inc. 251 shelters
  69 points of sale
  1 central agency: ‘Point Bus’
  5 vehicles tailored specifically to the needs of passengers with reduced mobility
  202,938 residents in 18 municipalities
  14,096,763 journeys per year

A dynamic population
Limoges and its surrounding area (2309 km², 96 communes) are home to over a third of the population of the Limousin region, some 281,180 residents.
Including the surrounding area in this way allows us to take account of the modern phenomenon of peri-urban development and its attractiveness as a boost for job creation.

Comparable in size, in terms of population Limoges Métropole sits between Poitiers (251,156 residents) and Clermont-Ferrand (460,759), the nearest regional capitals.

Annual population growth has doubled in recent years, a growing demographic dynamism which is a key asset for future development.
Population forecasts predict that the population of the greater Limoges area will grow by 12% by 2030.

In the 1970s and 1980s, the municipalities around Limoges came together to form various associations with precise functions (water and waste management, electricity mains etc.).
In 1991, with the creation of the Limoges Inter-Municipal Union for Development Planning (Syndicat Intercommunal pour l’Etude et la Programmation de Limoges - SIEPAL) 26 municipalities learned to work together towards shared objectives, realising the importance of concerted, controlled development.
This process culminated in the publication of an urban development strategy in 1998, and plans to form an official agglomeration.
Originally founded on 8th November 2001, the Communauté de Communes later became the Communauté d’agglomération following the prefectural decree of 22nd November 2002. This makes Limoges Métropole the 3rd largest urban centre in the south-west, after Toulouse and Bordeaux.

Inter-municipal cooperation
The creation of Limoges Métropole added a new dimension to the long-standing partnerships which unite the agglomeration’s constituent municipalities. Pooling our skills has helped us identify new ways to improve public services, and also to boost the development of our agglomeration and make Limoges a major player nationally and internationally. Our determination to create an organisation which is flexible and transparent, and not a burden on taxpayers, allows us to look to the future with confidence.
While individual municipalities retain responsibility for their local services, pooling human, technical and financial resources has allowed us to develop new facilities which would have been beyond the reach of individual municipal authorities. Inter-municipal cooperation is also essential to the balance of our agglomeration, reinforcing our position at regional and national level. The best interests of the community must always be our first concern, in order to strike the right balance between municipal authorities and the supra-municipal agglomeration, and ensure that both levels function in synergy.

The defining purpose of this new public authority, christened Limoges Métropole by order of the Conseil Communautaire on 16th February 2004, is to spearhead large scale, strategically-significant projects and expand our range of economic services and resources, while also managing the major services required by the population of a major agglomeration and preserving the natural resources which are such a great asset to our region.


Key dates

  • 1970-1980: the various municipalities around Limoges gather together to form various supra-municipal bodies
  • 1991: formation of SIEPAL, bringing together 26 municipalities
  • 1998: publication of the first urban development strategy
  • 8th November 2001: formation of the Communauté de Communes de l’Agglomération de Limoges, uniting 17 municipal authorities
  •  22nd November 2002: the Communauté de Communes becomes the Communauté de l’Agglomération de Limoges
  • 16th February 2004: the Communauté de l’Agglomération de Limoges becomes the Communauté d’Agglomération Limoges Métropole.
  • 1st January 2011 : Verneuil joins Limoges Métropole