"The society has come forward with a solid business plan," said Miller. "This funding will help with setting up the first programs under the fund."
The money will fund community grant and economic development capacity grant programs. The community grant program will be aimed at projects like telecommunications, transportation and community services that would not otherwise be funded by the local, provincial or federal government. The economic development capacity grant program will support activities like business development workshops and seminars.
"We are looking forward to putting these funds to work in the region and to supporting northern economic development efforts," said society chair, Dave Murz.
"Further funding for the society’s grant programs will be awarded in January, once the society’s final business plan, which incorporates plans for program evaluation and long-term planning for its $5-million working fund, has been approved," said Miller.
"I am confident the society will continue to work hard at supporting regional economic development," added Miller. "People in their local communities know better than the provincial government or anyone else what’s best for them. We’re helping people take the action that will build healthier communities."
The Nechako-Kitamaat Development Fund Society will implement the recommendations of the Northern Development Fund advisory board. Earlier this summer, the society received $90,000 to start up its administrative functions.
The $15-million Northern Development Fund was created in 1997 as a part of an agreement between the provincial government and Alcan to promote sustainable economic development in northwestern B.C. communities that were affected by the Kitimat-Kemano project and by the creation of the Nechako Reservoir. A $5-million working fund was set up to support loan and grant programs, and $10 million will be invested to build a
$15-million legacy fund.
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Contact: Debbie Parhar, Co-ordinator
Communications (250) 952-0525
For more information on the Nechako-Kitamaat Development Fund, visit our Web page athttp://www.ndf.gov.bc.ca on the Internet.
The Government of B.C. and Alcan Inc. each contributed $7.5 million to establish the Northern Development Fund in 1999. The investment income generated from this fund supports the NKDF grants program. Each partner has one representative serving on the board of directors. The NKDF is part of the portfolio of the Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training.
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