Nelson, BC – BC Rural Dividend Program has awarded $100,000 to Community Futures Central Kootenay (CFCK) for development of the Nelson Innovation Centre.
The funds will allow CFCK to hire a manager to co-ordinate operations of the Nelson Innovation Centre, including a technology business mentorship program and membership framework.
“Nelson Innovation Centre will help to position our region as a destination for technology entrepreneurs and workers,” said Andrea Wilkey, CFCK Executive Director. “The Nelson and the Area Economic Development Partnership has been working alongside the Kootenay Association of Science and Technology to keep momentum behind this project. The support of the BC Rural Dividend Fund will support our post-launch programming, as we build up our membership and establish income streams to become self-supporting.”
Nelson Innovation Centre will be located on the first floor of the Historic CP Rail building in Nelson’s Railtown neighbourhood. It will create a hub for Nelson’s growing tech sector, with shared work and meeting spaces, business development services and skills training programs.
CFCK is one of six organizations in the Central Kootenay who are celebrating successful applications to the BC Rural Dividend Program. Other successful project proponents include the Village of Kaslo, Regional District of Central Kootenay, Nelson Civic Theatre Society, Nelson and District Chamber of Commerce, and Touchstones Nelson.
“Whether it’s promoting partnerships with First Nations at the Nelson Museum, helping the Village of Kaslo develop opportunities for aviation and recreational tourism or building local government capacity to attract new business, these grants will go a long way to boost our rural communities,” said Michelle Mungall, MLA for Nelson-Creston.
These grants help fund projects that support economic development and diversification in rural communities throughout the province. Grants can be up to $100,000 for a single applicant project or up to $500,000 for partnership projects.
“This funding supports the diverse needs of small towns throughout the province and the people who live in them,” said Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. “Our government is getting results for people in small cities and towns in every region, creating jobs and enhancing everyday services and amenities for families around the province.”
The Rural Dividend is one aspect of the Province’s rural development mandate, which commits to making rural communities more resilient.