Land use planning process will optimize industrial and commercial opportunities
COURTENAY, 26 MAY 2022 – Four local governments on the Sunshine Coast will collaborate to develop an investment attraction strategy for commercial and industrial lands, with funding support from Island Coastal Economic Trust’s READY Capacity Building Program.
The Sunshine Coast Regional Economic Development Organization (SCREDO) has partnered with the Town of Gibsons, District of Sechelt, Sunshine Coast Regional District and Sechelt Indian Government District to create a coordinated plan for employment intensification, green growth and the creation of community capital.
Project outputs will include a digital land needs assessment tool that marries inbound investment criteria with suitable parcels of industrial and commercial land, and policy recommendations for protection and intensification of existing employment land base.
“Asset-based strategic planning is foundationally important for long-term job creation and business attraction,” says ICET Chair Aaron Stone. “In today’s competitive global marketplace, communities must ensure that potential investors can access key data in a timely manner.”
This project builds on a comprehensive land use white paper, commissioned by SCREDO in 2021, which found 1,167 acres of vacant, employment-generating land. The report identified high-priority nodes and sectors which will be explored in this strategic planning process, such as warehousing and distribution, agri-tech and ocean innovation.
“This region possesses several considerable economic advantages, including a well-established commercial and industrial base and a wide range of under-utilized lands,” says Colin Stansfield, SCREDO’s Executive Director. “Our commitment to the principles of community economic development enhances the opportunity for investors seeking blended value returns that benefit people in place.”
A key goal of this project is to identify potential actions that support the continued evolution of a more sustainable and well-rounded Sunshine Coast economy. This work also aligns with priorities identified by SCREDO’s local government partners and will inform preliminary work already underway to develop a regional growth strategy.
This project will get underway shortly and is supported through ICET’s READY – Capacity Building Program under the Investment Attraction Tools Stream. The Trust will contribute $30,000 to the total project costs of $75,000.
The READY – Capacity Building Program accepts projects on a continuous intake. For more information on the program please visit our website: www.islandcoastaltrust.ca
About the Island Coastal Economic Trust
Created and capitalized by the Province of BC in 2006, the Island Coastal Economic Trust (ICET) mission is to create a more diverse and globally competitive Island and Coastal economy. In partnership with local and regional governments, non-profits and Indigenous communities, ICET serves over half a million residents. Funding and support for economic infrastructure and other economic diversification initiatives is delivered through a unique community centered decision-making process. Since inception, ICET has approved more than $55 million in funding for over 280 initiatives. These investments have leveraged over $270 million in new investment into the region creating more than 2600 construction phase jobs and 2750 long-term permanent jobs.
For further information:
Hilary Muth, Communications Coordinator
Island Coastal Economic Trust
Tel. 250-871-7797 (Ext. 228)