Quality of Life At Work: 5 Reasons to Move to Dunkirk
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Quality of Life At Work: 5 Reasons to Move to Dunkirk

Quality of Life At Work: 5 Reasons to Move to Dunkirk

The ways of Dunkirk are well known: it’s a closely-knit, popular and festive city. A dynamic urban area, the city of Dunkirk also provides its inhabitants with a whole host of professional and personal development opportunities.

The multiple facets of Dunkirk contribute to its attractive living environment. Particularly for the many newcomers seeking a better work-life balance.

So what are the 5 main reasons to move to Dunkirk and work there? Dunkerque Promotion gives you a full overview.

  1. The Cost of Living is Lower

Property prices are particularly affordable in Dunkirk. In February 2023, the average cost per square metre was just €1,942 for an apartment and €1,980 for a house.[1] If we compare it to Lille, the prices there increase to €3,533 and €3,209 per square metre respectively. [2]

When it comes to renting, the average rent is between €10 and €11 per square metre per month. And it depends on the location, the type and quality of the property [3]. Or, for example, around €500 for 50 m².

Dunkirk offers a varied range of housing, which includes a large choice of apartments, townhouses and detached houses. And in diversified surroundings too: the city centre, along the embankment and by the sea, the Flanders countryside or nestled in a village…

Arrangements such as Ma Nouvelle Ville (My New City) or 1 Emploi 1 Logement (1 Job, 1 Home) help the newly arrived to search for the perfect home.

  1. A More Balanced Way of Life

Traffic flows smoothly throughout the city of Dunkirk and its surrounding area all day long. You are guaranteed to spend less time on public transport in Dunkirk than in a large city such as Paris or Lyon.

Public transport is also very well organised. The DK’BUS network has 5 regular lines and 13 connecting lines, plus it has been entirely free of charge since 2018.

The city of Dunkirk implemented this free public transport system to encourage sustainable mobility. All inhabitants -and even visitors- are entitled to use it. The ultimate goal is to play a bigger part in improving the air quality and also to reduce the daily expenses of its inhabitants.

Dunkirk boasts a dense network of bicycle lanes and provides grants to help buy a bike. There are more than 237 km of cycling infrastructures and 2,600 bicycle parking racks across the whole Dunkirk urban area. These facilities help cyclists to travel with ease while keeping fit!

The Maison de l’Environnement de Dunkerque (Dunkirk House of the Environment) also provides free bike registration, for greater peace of mind. Just like our Belgian and Dutch neighbours, the Nord area is fond of this typical mode of travel.

There is a diverse range of cultural events in the evenings and at weekends. After a day at work, you’ll find there’s no shortage of activities in Dunkirk to keep you busy during your spare time. Dunkirk city’s cultural attractions include:

  • A theatre (Le Bateau Feu Scène Nationale)
  • Performing arts theatres with a wide array of events: Kursaal, Casino de Dunkerque, Les 4 écluses and the Palais du Littoral…
  • A famous jazz club in the immediate vicinity of the marina
  • A music and dramatic arts academy

The territory has lots of sports facilities, including a large ice skating rink and an Olympic-sized swimming pool. It is one of the best-equipped urban areas in France for an equivalent population level.

  1. Plenty of Professional Opportunities

After drawing up a list of business expansions and forthcoming industrial projects, the territory estimates there to be 16,000 new jobs needing filled over the coming years.[4] It’s a very motivating factor for the 15,000 job seekers in the Dunkirk area. But also for young people entering the job market and professionals deciding to establish themselves in the sector.

For a large number of them, these jobs have a direct link with the low carbon strategy. It is being developed locally by industrialists, public bodies and the Grand Port Maritime. So this means the territory’s new areas of economic development include:

  • An emerging sector dedicated to the electric car, with Verkor having set up in the heart of France’s leading automobile region.[5]
  • New green hydrogen [6]production industries.
  • Multiple energy efficiency projects. These include, for example, ENGIE and Infinium’s Reuze project that recovers the CO2 from ArcelorMittal.
  • New energy-plus housing schemes…

These professional opportunities relate to the sector’s great diversity and include well-known companies such as:

  • SNF Flocryl, a global leader in hydrosoluble polymers with a business expansion project in Gravelines.
  • ArcelorMittal, a benchmark company in the steel industry, planning the opening of a new production line.
  • Astrazeneca, an internationally renowned biopharmaceutical company.
  • Coca Cola, whose largest French factory is located in Socx near Dunkirk. It received a huge new investment of 30 million euros in 2022.[7]
  • Kubota, a Japanese group which set up its tractor assembly site in Bierne in 2015.
  • OVH and its data centre in Gravelines spans over 9 hectares, to the end of the West Port (Port Ouest).[8]
  • Verkor, an innovative company in the field of low-carbon battery cells. It is aiming to open its very first Gigafactory in Dunkirk in 2024.

Companies in Dunkirk are constantly recruiting new talent. Don’t hesitate to consult the main current employment opportunities listed by Dunkerque Promotion.

  1. Proximity to Large European Cities

When you live in Dunkirk, it is very easy to travel to London, Brussels and Lille.

Dunkirk is just 1 hour 50 mins from Brussels, 3 hours 15 minutes from Rotterdam, 3 hours 30 minutes from Paris and 3 hours 30 minutes from London.[9]

In total, no less than six large European cities are under 350 kilometres away[10] and can be accessed by road and train.

The transport network is well developed. You can easily book a train ticket to Lille, take the Eurostar to get to London…

  1. A City Committed to the Ecological Transition

Dunkirk is firmly committed to the energy transition. This includes actively promoting new low carbon solutions in industrial environments.

Dunkirk’s port activity is the region’s economic heart and soul and positions the city as a major stakeholder in European transport. It has been adapted and reshaped over time to maintain growing operational efficiency while becoming more responsible and sustainable.

The Grand Port Maritime of Dunkirk is especially involved in environmental initiatives:[11]

  • A Management and Sustainable Development Plan (PAD2) has been drawn up for the whole port area.
  • A policy to preserve fragile natural spaces, including flora and fauna in the Flanders dunes.
  • A sustained investment in setting up new solar parks.
  • An offshore wind farm project off Dunkirk. Its installed capacity will be 600 MW and commissioning is planned for 2026.[12]

When it comes to the Urban Council, we must not forget:

  • The “200,000 trees plan” or a tree per inhabitant, spearheaded by the Greater Dunkirk Urban Council. Its aims include planting privet, maple trees and willow trees and reshaping the green belts in the Dunkirk area[13] in order to create places to cool off and natural carbon sinks.
  • The roll-out of a cleanliness plan (pavement and street upgrading, green and public space development…).[14]
  • The development of the social and solidarity economy through recycling, more direct trade and local employment.[15]

The Éco-Gagnant programme brings together several fields. It provides suitable technical solutions with the help of local tradespeople, and grants to improve home energy performance, thus reducing the costs for households while limiting their environmental impact. This programme encompasses initiatives relating to the transport mentioned earlier (grants for bikes and free buses) as well as other energy and consumption initiatives (like waste sorting).

The aim of the Éco-Gagnant programme is to help develop civic and responsible habits by providing an ecological and economic “win-win” system.

These initiatives are all part of the vision for a responsible urban area. They fall under the scope of a sustainable development policy dear to Dunkirk which is integrated into the Hauts-de-France’s Rev3 programme.

With a strong economic and industrial fabric in full revival, the city of Dunkirk has become a particularly attractive landing spot for numerous professionals and companies in just a few years. Dunkerque Promotion is here to support all your business set-up projects in the Dunkirk area and in Maritime Flanders.


*** SOURCES ***

[1] https://www.meilleursagents.com/prix-immobilier/dunkerque-59140/

[2] https://www.meilleursagents.com/prix-immobilier/lille-59000/

[3] https://www.meilleursagents.com/prix-immobilier/dunkerque-59140/

[4] https://france3-regions.francetvinfo.fr/hauts-de-france/nord-0/dunkerque/plus-de-16-000-emplois-dans-les-prochaines-annees-pourquoi-pas-vous-des-bus-roulent-pour-l-emploi-a-dunkerque-2692718.html

[5]     https://dunkerquepromotion.org/secteurs-activite/automobile-mobilite-decarbonee/

[6]  http://www.dunkerque-port.fr/fr/presse/actualites/2020-12-21-dunkerque-port-et-h2v-s-engagent-dans-l-hydrogene-vert-fr-67342.html

[7]    https://www.lesechos.fr/pme-regions/hauts-de-france/coca-cola-renforce-sa-plus-grande-usine-francaise-pres-de-dunkerque-1392557

[8]   https://www.lavoixdunord.fr/478363/article/2018-10-29/un-plan-d-investissement-d-1-5-milliard-d-euros-pour-les-datacenters-d-ovheuro

[9] https://dunkerquepromotion.org/choisir-dunkerque/offrir-qualite-de-vie/vivre-leurope/

[10] https://dunkerquepromotion.org/choisir-dunkerque/rejoindre-economie-forte/territoire-international/

[11] https://dunkerquepromotion.org/choisir-dunkerque/se-developper-aux-portes-de-leurope/grand-port-maritime-international/





Quality of Life At Work: 5 Reasons to Move to Dunkirk

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