Valence is a commune in south-eastern France, the capital of the Drôme department and within the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region. It is situated on the left bank of the Rhône, about 100 kilometres south of Lyon, along the railway line that runs from Paris to Marseille.
The focal point of major north-south European routes and door to the Sillon Alpin for the east-west corridor in the direction of Italy and Switzerland, the territory of the Valence agglomeration has developed around innovative companies, offering a higher education, centres of excellence and an economic supply of land. The development of the economy of Valence is favoured by the proximity of cities such as Lyon and Geneva and, through transport routes, major European capitals.
The economic development of Valence can also count on a wealthy producer territory of food processing, hi-tech with the presence of large groups of electronics or aerospace, many innovative SMEs and a university centre of importance of film and knowledge with the presence of major animation studios internationally recognised for the quality of their productions
The Valence agglomeration by its geographical and strategic position at the crossroads of the main European flows, enjoys exceptional and multimodal infrastructure: The railway marshalling yard, the port of trade of Valence: River services and vessels along the Rhone by the canal from the Rhône to the Mediterranean and by access to the Freycinet northward, access to the A7 motorway and a branch towards the Isère and Italy (A49) a railway siding giving access to Europe-Mediterranean traffic and Italy.
Valence is the seat of the Chamber of commerce and industry of the Drôme, which manages the Port de l'Épervière, the port of Valence and Valence-Chabeuil Airport.
The main sectors of activity are: Agriculture, Industry, Construction, Services, Food (fruits, vegetables, wines), Metallurgy, Mechanical engineering, Electronics, Electronic Banking, and Automation.
The industries of the city include metallurgical products, textiles, leather goods, jewellery and munitions, and it also serves as a processing and trade centre for the surrounding agricultural region. Some of the big hi-tech companies settled here are leaders in their domains like Thales (electronic systems for avionics and defence), Crouzet/Schneider (Automatic systems), SAGEM (Aerospatial system)), Ascom Monetel (Automatic paytax systems), etc.
The Maison Pic is a world-renowned three Michelin star restaurant and hotel, established in 1889. The commercial area of the Couleures has approximately eighty public brands in the fields of equipment, the home, sport, and the individual. The two sectors of Briffaut (east and west), in east Valence, count 320 companies, including an automotive hub combining various concessions and associated services. The technoparks include one hundred companies.
The plateau of Lautagne, located at the south of the city, brings together 40 technology companies with high added value. The Auréats zone is the oldest industrial site in Valence, it includes 180 companies. The Cime activity centre, housed in the former premises of Tézier, gathers 86 service enterprises. In total 8,183 establishments were installed on the commune of Valence: 71% in the tertiary trade, and 16% of establishments in public administration (school, health, etc.). Industry represents only 4% of establishments in the commune. 92% of its establishments employ less than 10 employees.
Valence has a population of over 63,714 people. Valence also forms part of the wider Valence metropolitan area which has a population of over 131,695 people.