The association foreshadowing the Grand Site, under its first name “Canal du Midi du Malpas à Fonseranes”, was born in 2013 from a strong will of local authorities to organize a broad consultation. The objective was to develop a project for the preservation and enhancement of remarkable and classified sites with the objective of engaging in a large site operation. Following the integration of the Sud-Hérault community of municipalities and the municipalities of Poilhes and Capestang, the decision was taken to change the name: Canal du Midi Béziers, Languedoc Méditerranée.

Following the findings linked to the environmental deterioration of remarkable sites, elected officials from the area mobilized to find solutions to the issues emanating in particular from the strong pressure from users of the territory. Consequently, the association submitted an application to the Ministry of the Environment, to be considered for the Operation Grand Site.

The locks of Fonseranes, the Port-Notre-Dame, the Pont-Canal, the Malpas Tunnel, the Oppidum of Ensérune, the Dry Pond of Montady, the Domitian Way, the Collegiate Church and the Palace of the Archbishops in Capestang, constitute landscapes, remarkable elements of our heritage.

The association leads and manages the Operation Large Site at the scale of the territory - from the Port of Capestang to the Canal Bridge in Béziers via Poilhes, Nissan-lez-Ensérune, Montady and Colombiers. The Grand Site project is based on governance promoting decision-making and organizational coordination between several structures. His goal is to :

  • Develop a joint project for the restoration, preservation, management and enhancement of the sites in order to obtain the “Grand Site de France” label,
  • Research and support all public or private initiatives capable of facilitating economic and tourist development,
  • Issue advisory opinions on all operations carried out by its members, within the scope of site development and shared visibility.

The members and actors of the forerunner association:

The members of the association:

  • The Béziers Méditerranée Communauté d'Agglomération,
  • The Communauté de Communes la Domitienne,
  • The Communauté de Communes Sud-Hérault,
  • The municipalities of Béziers, Colombiers, Montady, Nissan-Lès-Enserune, Capestang, Poilhes,
  • The Conseil Départemental de l'Hérault,
  • The Hérault Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The management meets the standards and requirements of the Grand Site network, and is divided into two entities:

  • The Board of Directors (decision-making tool)
  • The Technical Committee (working and implementation tool)

The technical and financial partners who provide guidance and support are:

  • State services: DREAL, DRAC, DDTM, the Centre des Monuments Nationaux
  • The Occitanie Pyrénées Méditerranée region,
  • The Conseil Départemental de l'Hérault,
  • The Grands Sites de France Network,
  • The French Waterways (VNF),
  • The Hérault Department - Hérault Tourisme.

Personalized partnership agreements may possibly be signed with other structures playing a major role in social issues and the natural, historical and heritage preservation of the sites and places involved in the project. Other links with associations can also be created in order to facilitate and more effectively represent the civil society. Finally, a strong link is maintained with the Grands Sites de France national network in order to take into account the knowledge and feedback of its members.

The aim is also to strengthen and maintain the brand image and spirit of a Grand Site.