On April 18th, MLA Katrine Conroy visited i4C Innovation Centre to announce funding from the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development through the Rural Dividend Fund being awarded to numerous West Kootenay communities! The total funding for the region amounts to $1.1 million and has been distributed among nine communities from Naskusp to Trail.
“Rural communities across our region are great places to live and work, and these projects will make them stronger and more sustainable… The Rural Dividend awards will help advance economic development, create new tourism opportunities and attract global education markets to our region.” – Katrine Conroy, MLA for Kootenay West
These grants help fund projects that support economic development and diversification in rural communities throughout the province. Grants can be up to $100,000 for a single applicant project, or up to $500,000 for partnership projects.
The projects awarded funds cover a wide range of topics to meet the needs of residents in our region and improve quality of life. These awards range from $10,000 to $100,000. The projects include:
- the Castlegar sculpture walk,
- an investment lands inventory for Nakusp,
- trail construction at Mt. Abriel,
- affordable housing projects in Rossland,
- downtown development in the Village of Slocan,
- tourism marketing in Trail and Rossland
- youth recruitment for Seven Summits Centre for Learning in Rossland
- workforce attraction in the tech sector by KAST
The largest award was given to Phase 2 of our Metal Tech Alley project, a total of $500,000 for this two year initiative! This next phase of Metal Tech Alley is focused on making it self-sustainable for the long-term and continuing to attract investment to the Lower Columbia region. The project, Metal Tech Alley 4.0 – Sustainability and the Circular Economy, will prioritize improving the local industrial supply-chain by undertaking a supply chain gap analysis. Subsequently addressing these gaps will allow us to improve long-term economic security for local business and, through emphasizing “waste to input” strategies will contribute to environmental sustainability. Ultimately, Metal Tech Alley will continue to drive innovation in the advanced materials and technology sectors, and continue to position the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary as a global centre of excellence in metallurgy and advanced materials, digital technologies, industrial internet of things and big data, and industrial recycling.
Currently, we have issued a Request for Proposals for a supply chain gap analysis, to learn more about this opportunity click here.