Under the BC Rural Dividend Program special circumstances provision, the Government of British Columbia is providing $500,000 to the City of Merritt, Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, announced today.
“The city has identified the construction of a theatre complex as a project that will help revitalize their economy after the closure of the Tolko mill,” said Donaldson. “The special circumstances provision of the rural dividend was specifically designed to assist communities undergoing economic hardship, such as the loss of a primary employer.”
The rural dividend grant will be used to help build the Nicola Valley Community Theatre and Performing Arts Centre, and will assist the city in pursuing the additional funding that will be required to complete this project. The project is part of an effort to draw residents and visitors into the downtown core and diversify the local economy. The project will also incorporate employment/training opportunities in the construction and ongoing operation of the facility.
“These funds will greatly assist with the economic diversification and economic recovery of our community after the loss of one of our major employers,” said Neil Menard, mayor of Merritt. “We are grateful for the assistance and acknowledge the provincial transition team’s efforts in our community.”
As part of Budget 2018, the Government of British Columbia committed to extending the $25-million-per-year rural dividend to 2020-21. The rural dividend is one aspect of government’s rural development mandate, which is committed to making rural communities more resilient.
City of Merritt: http://www.merritt.ca/
BC Rural Dividend Program: www.gov.bc.ca/ruraldividend