Under the BC Rural Dividend, the provincial government is providing $18,500 in project development funds to the Cariboo Regional District and Yunesit’in Government, MLA Donna Barnett announced Tuesday.
The Cariboo Regional District plans to use the grant for completing the assessment and inventory of existing and potential wheelchair accessible outdoor trails, while Yunesit’in Government will use the grant to conduct a feasibility study on the purchase and operation of the Taseko Lake Lodge.
“I’m pleased to see these important projects going forward,” Cariboo Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett said. “The funding for the Cariboo Regional District is a step toward making it easier for everyone to enjoy our beautiful backcountry, while the feasibility study on purchasing Taseko Lake Lodge represents an opportunity for the Yunesit’in Government to evaluate the addition of a significant asset to their local economy.”
The two local grants are part of 47 successful project development grants, totalling over $464,000, being awarded to eligible communities.
The grants will assist rural communities to build business cases and feasibility assessments to support the development of strong project applications to the three-year, $75-million, BC Rural Dividend.
As committed during the September 2015 Union of British Columbia Municipalities convention and in Balanced Budget 2016, the BC Rural Dividend helps rural communities with populations under 25,000 to reinvigorate and diversify their local economies, making them more attractive places to live and work.
Launched April 1, 2016, the first application intake window closed May 31, 2016. A total of 180 applications were received from a cross-section of communities, not-for-profit associations and First Nations from around the province. A second application intake will run from Oct. 3 to 31, 2016.
Project development funding applications, for up to $10,000 each, were reviewed on an accelerated timeline. Decisions on other categories of applications are expected in September 2016.
Under the guidelines of the BC Rural Dividend, single applicants can apply for up to $100,000 for community-driven projects and must contribute at least 20 per cent of the total project cost. Applicants representing partnerships can apply for up to $500,000 and must contribute 40 per cent of the total project cost.
Funding of $25 million per year, over the next three years, is available in four categories: community capacity building, workforce development, community and economic development, and business sector development.