Published On: Wednesday, 13 September 2017
Cowichan Valley Industrial Growth Strategy Receives Funding
COURTENAY – The attraction of new industries to the Cowichan Valley is a major part of the Regional District’s economic development strategy, and a new project supported by the Island Coastal Economic Trust (ICET) will help move the strategy forward.
ICET has approved funding to enable Economic Development Cowichan to develop a plan to enhance, augment, and promote industrial lands in the region. The plan will create an inventory of current and potential industrial lands, evaluate if existing industrial properties are achieving their highest and best use, and recommend strategies for attracting new industries to the Cowichan region.
“Attracting new industries to the region - and helping existing industries expand - requires a clear understanding of our land base as well as industry needs and requirements,” said ICET Chair Mayor Phil Kent.
“With that inventory and analysis in place, the region and its communities will be well positioned to jointly promote opportunities and target specific industries and companies.”
Development of the project concept included consultation with the region’s senior planners and land use managers, local and provincial economic development partners and First Nations communities.
A market research driven approach will be adopted to develop a plan with targeted recommendations for attracting major new investment to existing and potential industry holdings and to accommodate the expansion of pivotal industries on the verge of new development.
“We recognize the importance of working in partnership with industry, local government and the community as we go forward with this project,” said Economic Development Cowichan Manager Amy Melmock.
“A growing number of advanced manufacturing, food processing and other value-added companies are emerging in Cowichan – and now is the time to build on their success.”
The project is supported through ICET’s Economic Development Readiness Program - Sector Development Strategies stream. This program provides up to $30,000 for the development of targeted sectoral strategies to attract investment and increase sector productivity. Sectoral organizations, regional economic development organizations, and other non-profit organizations may be eligible for funding through this program.