ACTA VISTA, founded in 2002, has emerged as a prominent force in the realm of heritage inclusion in France. The association based in Marseille focuses on developing back-to-work programmes and training projects in heritage trades, targeting individuals marginalised from the labour market. ACTA VISTA belongs to the cultural branch of the “Groupe SOS”: one of Europe’s leading actors in the field of social economy.
Over the years, 35 sites have been restored and revitalised to the highest craftsmanship standards, while trainees have been employed and supported to engage in restoration work while continuing traditional techniques, materials and environmental practices. As such, ACTA VISTA not only restores sites but also ensures the transmission of traditional know-how.
Currently, the association is actively involved in various restoration projects, such as the Fort d’Entrecasteaux in Marseille, sites in La Ciotat, the Château de Chambord, and the Château de la Morinière in the Centre Val-de-Loire region.
Each year, ACTA VISTA employs, trains and supports approximately 500 individuals, totalling 5,000 beneficiaries since its inception. The association welcomes people of all ages (18-65 years) and from diverse backgrounds who face challenges in accessing employment and training opportunities. Notably, 70% of participants are hired without prior qualifications. These individuals encounter various obstacles, including language, housing, mobility and health concerns.
The success of this employment scheme is made possible through the French policy of “integration through economic activity”, which subsidises trainees’ incomes. Additionally, ACTA VISTA benefits from the support of a network of public authorities and private sponsors.
ACTA VISTA operates in close collaboration with two associations integral to its innovative model. BAO Formation, a training organisation, enables trainees to acquire diplomas by offering courses in various heritage restoration trades. La Citadelle de Marseille plays a crucial role in opening the Fort d’Entrecasteaux site in Marseille to the public, transforming it into a vibrant hub of culture and open-air laboratory of ideas and perspectives. This innovative approach, which combines social support, training for vulnerable individuals, and a cultural dimension accessible to all, is unparalleled in Europe.
“The social and cultural impact of ACTA VISTA’s projects is undeniably impressive. There is a clear emphasis on European significance in the association’s choice of projects, further highlighted by the link established with European Heritage Days. The organisation’s successful approach offers valuable lessons for others to follow, demonstrating the positive outcomes that can be achieved through linking activities to promote employment with the regeneration of cultural heritage sites”, the Awards’ Jury stated.
“The restoration of monuments is a notable outcome in itself but the special value of ACTA VISTA lies in its extensive training efforts, reaching a large number of individuals, many of whom lack initial qualifications. By providing skills training, the association contributes to the reintegration of vulnerable and disadvantaged individuals by offering them a pathway to finding their place in the professional world. With a clear long-term strategy, ACTA VISTA is setting a remarkable example of impactful and sustainable action for people and heritage”, the Jury concluded.
Contact: Pâquerette Demotes-Mainard | email@example.com | www.actavista.fr/en