Thompson presents local RED grants - Dec. 13, 2018
BY DENNY SCOTT
Minister of Education and Huron-Bruce MPP Lisa Thompson visited Blyth Memorial Hall last Friday to announce funding for several initiatives in her riding through the Rural Economic Development (RED) grant program.
Thompson announced the approval of six different grants including one for Blyth Arts and Cultural Initiative 14/19 Inc. and one for the County of Huron.
Blyth’s 14/19 Inc. will be receiving $46,250 to create shoulder-season activity at Memorial Hall, including new pilot events and marketing plans.
Huron County will also be receiving $10,000 to conduct a readiness initiative for the Huron Culinary Tourism project.
Thompson said these announcements are good news and that they show that Ontario, and Huron-Bruce, are open for business. The funding will “make sure that rural moves with urban”, she said.
Amy Zoethout of 14/19 Inc. said that Memorial Hall is a wonderful facility and that the funding would be used for programming to raise awareness of the site. She also said it would aid in continuing rural discussions like those initiated at the recent Rural Talks to Rural (R2R) conference held at the site earlier this year.
The Huron Culinary Tourism Project’s funding will allow for the hiring of the Ontario Culinary Tourism Alliance to help conduct the Huron Culinary Tourism Readiness Initiative, Thompson said.
Huron County Warden Jim Ginn said the funding represents an exciting development in Huron County, as, in recent years, it has become so closely tied to the food and beverage industries.
Other RED grants were awarded to the Municipality of Brockton, which received $40,000 for a branding strategy and website update focused on employment opportunities and tourism; the Municipality of Kincardine which received $42,500 to create a user-friendly website focused on economic development strategies to attract investment, growth and job creation; the South Huron Chamber of Commerce which received $38,600 to enhance South Huron’s online presence through business feature videos, virtual tours and community profiles and the Municipality of Bluewater which received $30,000 for a feasibility study for the Bayfield Community Centre.
The local projects were among more than 80 RED projects approved across the province.