Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Coworking Space in Preuilly


When the new Junior High School principal accepted her post in Preuilly everyone was delighted, but it did leave her husband, Benjamin Jalon, with the prospect of leaving lucrative big city based work and living in a small town that might not have quite the same need for a computer engineer.

 I can't remember what Benjamin and I were talking about, but it was obviously 'over there'.
Qastia coworking space, Preuilly sur Claise.  Indre et Loire, France. Photographed by Susan Walter. Tour the Loire Valley with a classic car and a private guide.

So he did the sensible thing and set up a new business in a recently vacated building in town -- and now we have a coworking space in town called Qastia. He has set it up with a lounge, a kitchen, a meeting room and several desks. Hopefully Parisians who want to spend more time at their country homes will be encouraged to use the space.

Qastia coworking space, Preuilly sur Claise.  Indre et Loire, France. Photographed by Susan Walter. Tour the Loire Valley with a classic car and a private guide.

Benjamin has worked for Airbus, various architecture firms and software publishers, which has enabled him to offer a wide range of skills: system development, sales, training, architecture, project support. Living in Le Mans until 2018, he commuted to Paris from there. When his wife Sophie was appointed principal of the Gaston-Defferre college in Preuilly, he had to make a decision about how he could continue his career.

Qastia coworking space, Preuilly sur Claise.  Indre et Loire, France. Photographed by Susan Walter. Tour the Loire Valley with a classic car and a private guide.

As a freelancer he works for many organizations. He has been very grateful for the welcome he received from the population and local associations. His family has become fully accepted which motivated him to bring something to the town. From there came the idea of creating a coworking space. "Indeed", he says, "for a self-employed person, there are two solutions: either working alone at home, or working in a common room with similar professions, which allows an exchange of experiences." Benjamin Jalon believes, on the other hand, that "a migration of city dwellers to the countryside is entirely feasible". His ultimate goal is to attract professionals with profiles like his to Preuilly in order to create a community that could organize conferences, training for young people, or help with retraining and, in this way, revitalize the village.

Qastia coworking space, Preuilly sur Claise.  Indre et Loire, France. Photographed by Susan Walter. Tour the Loire Valley with a classic car and a private guide.

We went to see him at the suggestion of a friend and found him thoughtful, well-informed, practical and very willing to work with us as far as his skill set permitted. We can think of a couple of Paris based people who would dearly like to spend more time down here at their family or second homes, so we think there is a real possibility that Benjamin's coworking space will take off.

All details for finding and contacting Benjamin are on his website. For those of you who know Preuilly, the coworking space is near the river, opposite the Claise Restaurant and next door to the Notaire, in the former agricultural supplies shop.

Note that these photos were taken on Tuesday 10 March, before the Covid19 lockdown. The coworking space is currently not open.

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2 comments:

Sheila said...

Here's hoping his wife's salary is still forthcoming and that his landlord might be giving him a break on the rent.

I like the new header photo.

Susan said...

So far as I know teachers are being paid normally ie regularly, by their employer. Benjamin probably is eligible for the delayed rent offer on the coworking space (but he might own the building and have a mortgage, I don't know).

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