Friday, October 7, 2016

BC Rural Dividend supports Cariboo North communities

Courtesy of the BC Government:

Under the BC Rural Dividend, the Province is providing $441,380 in new grants to Cariboo North, MLA for Cariboo North Coralee Oakes announced today.

The Lhatko Dene Nation is being awarded $92,380 to re-establish a gas bar and convenience store in Quesnel. Barkerville Historic Town and Park gets $100,000 to create a sustainability project that will consist of year-round recreational activities, food and accommodation options.

The City of Quesnel receives $249,000 to retrofit an existing downtown building, including public washrooms, to help showcase local events and festivals. This project is being undertaken in partnership with the Quesnel Downtown Association.

These are three of 73 successful grants, totalling over $8 million, being awarded to eligible communities under 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.

A total of 180 applications were received from a cross-section of communities, not-for-profit organizations and First Nations from around the province during the first application intake. A second application intake runs to Oct. 31, 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% of the total project cost. Applicants representing partnerships can apply for up to $500,000 and must contribute 40% of the total project cost.

Funding of $25 million per year, over three years, is available in four categories: community capacity building, workforce development, community and economic development, and business sector development.

As part of a continuous improvement process, the program’s eligibility requirements were reviewed over the summer months. The updated BC Rural Dividend Program Guide is now available online and anyone wishing to apply to the second intake can review the changes at the BC Rural Dividend web site at:

MLA for Cariboo North Coralee Oakes stated –

“These grants are a good example of all levels of government working together to meet the specific needs of our unique region. It is so encouraging to see this co-operation as we help our local community organizations offer these valuable services.”

While BC's Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Steve Thomson –

“The response to the first application intake for projects was overwhelming. The diversity of applications received reflects that the Rural Dividend is applicant driven. Communities have submitted applications that are best suited to the unique needs of their community.”

Quick Facts:

The BC Rural Dividend is part of government’s multi-faceted response to assisting rural communities
and complements existing initiatives supporting rural communities.

The criteria for the BC Rural Dividend were developed with input from the 13-member Rural Advisory Council, which was formed in March 2015.

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