A provincial program has given the District of Lantzville the financial means to hire an economic development officer.
Lantzville has been awarded $100,000 from the provincial government’s rural dividend program, which provides money to communities with a population of less than 25,000 to help with economic development and diversification.
K’omoks First Nation and the Village of Cumberland also were also awarded money from the rural dividend program.
The district intends to use the money to bring in an economic development officer, according to Ronald Campbell, the district’s chief administrative officer, who said the hiring process will begin in early April.
“Hopefully in a month or so we will have somebody on board that can start implementing some of the strategies and kick-start some revitalization in our village core,” Campbell said.
The economic development officer will be responsible or implementing elements of Lantzville’s economic development strategy, said Campbell.
Mayor Mark Swain said the announcement is great news and that the economic development officer will be a “key” position for the district.
“With Lantzville being such a small municipality, obviously we have a limited staffing budget and to get a grant of $100,000 to go straight into staffing this position is pretty awesome,” he said.
Lantzville has been moving toward trying to diversify its economy in recent years. Councillors adopted an economic development strategy last year and an economic development committee was formed in 2017. Councillors recently earmarked $100,000 to help fund revitalization efforts for Lantzville’s downtown area, known as the village core.
Swain said with the steps council has taken around economic development as well as the province’s announcement, “everything seems to be falling into the place” for Lantzville.
“It’s perfect timing.”
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