The Province will provide $30 million in funding to communities to give B.C. families greater access to recreation facilities so they can enjoy the benefits of increased physical activity and community involvement, announced Premier Christy Clark at the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention.
"We know that communities in B.C. face challenges when it comes to providing recreational infrastructure, particularly those in rural B.C.," said Premier Clark. "This program will help communities address these challenges by boosting the resources available at the local level. As we work to strengthen our families, it is important to understand the value of recreation - quite simply, getting together and having some recreational fun can reap huge rewards."
Eligible recreation projects will include sports facilities, community recreation spaces, fitness facilities, trails, bike paths, walkways, playgrounds and other indoor or outdoor recreational centres. Priority will be given to small communities, many of which lack the capacity to fund infrastructure.
"Not only will this program help families in smaller communities to have greater access to recreation, it will provide jobs and economic stimulus during the construction and operation of the facilities," said Ida Chong, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development. "I look forward to seeing how communities can make the most out of this great opportunity to build upon their recreational infrastructure."
"I am thrilled with today's announcement", said Suzanne Allard Strutt, CEO of the BC Recreation and Parks Association. "This funding will go a long way to help address the pressing need across the province to replenish and renew our stock of recreation facilities. These facilities are the life blood of our communities. They are known to be one of the most cost-effective prescriptions for good health and engaged citizens. It's great to see such a significant investment in B.C. families. "
Applications submitted between Oct. 14 and Dec. 28, 2011 will be considered for project approval, with the limit of one application per community. Regional districts will have the opportunity to submit more than one application.
Announcements of successful applicants and funding will be made by March 31, 2012. Application packages will be posted on the ministry website at: http://www.cscd.gov.bc.ca/lgd/finance/grants.htm
A roundup of UBCM 2011 activities: http://www.newsroom.gov.bc.ca/2011/09/ubcm-2011.html
Office of the Premier
Ministry of Community Sport and Cultural Development