Rural and remote communities, First Nations and not-for-profit organizations can submit applications to fund projects that strengthen and diversify their economies.
“The first intake of the Rural Economic Diversification and Infrastructure Program was a great success, helping fund over 200 projects that will create sustainable economic opportunities and good jobs,” said Brenda Bailey, Minister of Jobs, Economic Development and Innovation. “We’re looking forward to the next round of applications to continue the positive impact on people and communities throughout B.C.”
The second intake of the Rural Economic Diversification and Infrastructure Program (REDIP) is open as of July 4, 2023, until Oct. 30, 2023, and includes new eligibility for planning or feasibility projects related to workforce housing. The expanded eligibility will help communities facing barriers to economic development as a result of significant workforce housing needs.
"Building resilient, sustainable local economies across B.C. is important to all of us,” said Roly Russell, Parliamentary Secretary for Rural Development. “Given the great response from the first intake, another REDIP intake means we’re able to help more communities deliver the projects they feel are most important. Communities know best what they need, and it's great that we have more avenues to support them making those visions reality."
In its first two years, the program will have invested as much as $99 million into projects that promote economic diversification, resilience, clean-economy opportunities and infrastructure development.
Projects approved from the first intake include:
- the District of Barriere renovating a vacant grocery store to create a downtown community business hub;
- the Lil’wat Nation training staff to collect field data that will help promote sustainable forest management and a long-term timber harvest land base; and
- the City of Port Alberni remediating a contaminated area on a former sawmill’s 17-hectare waterfront industrial site to allow economic redevelopment.
“In a very real sense, the funding we received from the first intake of REDIP helps us take control of our future and make transformational change for our community,” said Sharie Minions, mayor of Port Alberni. “It will begin the process of cleaning up a long-dormant waterfront industrial site and developing it into an asset for greater citizen access and continuing diversification of our economy.”
Building resilient economies is part of the Province’s work through the StrongerBC Economic Plan to build a strong and sustainable economy through clean and inclusive growth.
- Communities can receive REDIP funding through three streams:
- Economic diversification – Projects that plan or implement programs, services and infrastructure to support economic development and diversification in communities with populations of 25,000 or fewer, with maximum funding of $1 million.
- Economic capacity – Projects that build local capacity and improve the ability to support economic development and diversification in communities with populations of 2,500 or fewer, with maximum funding of $100,000.
- Forest impact transition – Projects that support economic recovery and diversification in affected forest-dependent communities, with maximum funding of $500,000.
A list of approved REDIP projects from the first intake of the program is available here: https://gov.bc.ca/redip
For information about the Rural Economic Diversification and Infrastructure Program, visit: https://gov.bc.ca/redip
For information about the StrongerBC Economic Plan, visit: https://strongerbc.gov.bc.ca/plan