Vanderhoof may soon have a new visitor’s centre.
The District of Vanderhoof was awarded $52,000 under the BC Rural Dividend Program, to complete preliminary design work for a new visitor’s centre. The grant is from the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development and is part of their rural dividend grants aimed to support northern communities.
Gerry Thiessen, mayor of Vanderhoof said, “I think what is going to be interesting is just to go through the design process and to understand what is it really that we are looking for as a Visitor’s information centre. What will it add to the community. It will be in many ways a gateway to our community that people will see when they come to Vanderhoof to visit and decide how much time they want to be in our community for.”
He said District staff will hire consultants to work alongside them while they go through the designing process.
As per an April 22 release from the ministry of forests, this project in Vanderhoof includes site assessments, schematic designs, cost estimates and tender documents.
Under the BC Rural Dividend Program, the government of B.C. is providing $1,207,743 for 10 projects in the northern region.
“Almost $19 million in 153 single applicant and partnership project grants are being awarded to eligible local governments, First Nations and not-for-profit organizations through the Rural Dividend Program,” stated the release.
The purpose of these grants is to fund projects that support the economic development and diversification in rural communities throughout the province.
B.C. Forests Minister Doug Donaldson said, “This funding supports the diverse needs of small towns throughout the province and the people who live in them. Our government is getting results for people in small cities and towns in every region, creating jobs and enhancing everyday services and amenities for families around the province.”
Added to this, $6.4 million in grants are being provided to the program’s special circumstances stream, to support 23 applicants respond to economic challenges resulting from the loss of a main employer or the impacts of a natural disaster, as per the April 22 release.
An additional $673,124 was awarded through the project development stream to communities around the province in order for them to complete preliminary work to support future projects.
The release stated that the government of B.C. has committed to extending the $25 million per-year Rural Dividend to 2021 – 2022.