$75-million available to North Thompson communities

Applications for the first year of funding will be accepted from April 4 to May 31

B.C. Government Caucus

KAMLOOPS – Kamloops-North Thompson MLA Terry Lake encourages local governments and organizations in Barriere, Clearwater, Sun Peaks and the region’s First Nations to apply for a share of the $75-million BC Rural Dividend to help strengthen their communities.

As committed during last September’s Union of BC Municipalities convention and in Budget 2016, the three-year, $75-million Rural Dividend will help rural communities with populations under 25,000 diversify and bolster their economies.

Applications for the first year of funding will be accepted from April 4 to May 31.

“This is one more example of how our government is giving a voice to rural communities,” Lake said. “The Rural Dividend will help communities like Sun Peaks, Barriere, Clearwater and our First Nations diversify their economies and build and retain their workforce.”

Funding of $25 million per year is available in four categories: community capacity building; workforce development; community and economic development; and business-sector development.

Local governments, not-for-profit organizations and First Nations are eligible to apply.

Single applicants can apply for up to $100,000 for community-driven projects and must contribute at least 20 per cent of the total project cost. Partnerships involving more than one eligible applicant can apply for up to $500,000, and must contribute 40 per cent of the total project cost.

Applicant contributions can include in-kind contributions of up to 10 per cent.

A project development funding stream will provide up to $10,000 to help communities with limited capacity build business cases and feasibility assessments to support the development of strong projects and future project applications.

Downloadable application forms, guidelines, and instructions on how to apply were available as of April 4, when the new Rural Dividend website went live: www.gov.bc.ca/ruraldividend