Buller District Council

Media Release-Buller Projects Considered for Funding Support

30th May, 2018

A wide range of Buller-based projects with the potential to create jobs and assist with diversifying the district’s economy are currently being considered for funding support, through a project led by Development West Coast (DWC) and supported by the West Coast councils.

DWC has seconded the West Coast Economic Development Manager to create an economic development strategy for the West Coast. The purpose of this strategy is to develop an economic vision for each of the West Coast councils, and to identify projects that will enhance the economic wellbeing of the West Coast.

Buller District Councillors will attend a meeting with elected representatives from the other West Coast councils, and the West Coast Economic Development Manager in June to agree on an economic vision for the region and to prioritise a list of identified projects from across the West Coast. DWC will then assess these projects for funding via a number of investment opportunities, including the Provincial Growth Fund, other government funding channels, DWC funds and private investment.

In advance of the June meeting, each council has been asked to prioritise a list of projects that have been identified in their area. Buller District Council will be prioritising the Buller projects at its meeting on 30 May.

Chair of Council’s Economic Development Committee, Councillor Shayne Barry, said “we have been presented with a list of exciting and innovative projects which have the potential to be of real benefit to both our district and our region. Given the diverse array of projects, and that they range from being ‘spade ready’ to still at the conceptual stage, prioritising them will not be easy as all of the projects identified are worthy of support”. A report to Council includes a draft prioritisation of the projects based on scores from six criteria including links to other economic development projects, number of jobs created and contribution to GDP.

The projects on the list being presented to Council at Wednesday’s meeting are ones which have been brought to the attention of Council or DWC by the drivers of the project. “To meet the timeframes of this process we have had to work with projects that were already known to us, or that DWC brought to us” says Councillor Barry. “We anticipate there are other projects out there, and we would encourage their drivers to make contact with DWC or Council to talk about how their project could be considered in future. This is year one of three for the Provincial Growth Fund, and there are other funding opportunities available at different times, so this process is very much the beginning of finding ways to support West Coast economic development”.

Council will be asked on Wednesday to confirm the numerical priority ranking of the Buller projects to take forward to the meeting of West Coast councils in June.

 

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