November 27, 2008
Grant program will help rural communities adapt and diversify
Funding will support new and diverse economic opportunities
Edmonton — Almost $20 million over the next three years will be available to rural communities and regions to help them address economic, environmental and social challenges.
“While Alberta’s economy remains strong, communities that rely on agriculture and forestry are experiencing some challenging times,” said Agriculture and Rural Development Minister George Groeneveld. “This new funding will support community-based projects that help increase skills, encourage entrepreneurship, innovation and promote economic diversification through valued-added initiatives.”
The Rural Community Adaptation Grant Program is designed to assist rural communities that are experiencing or are facing future hardship caused by global economic volatility, a significant environmental event, or reliance on a single industry or employer.
The three-year, $15-million program will support community-based projects that result in more diverse economic opportunities. Grant amounts range from $10,000 to a maximum of $500,000 per project. Another $4.9 million in grant funding will also go directly to 12 rural-based Regional Economic Development Alliances across Alberta to support community and regionally led transition projects.
“REDAs are the foundation for regional economic development in Alberta,” said Iris Evans, Minister of Finance and Enterprise. “By ensuring they have the tools and resources they need to succeed, Alberta’s economy as a whole will benefit and evolve.”
The funding is part of the Government of Alberta’s Community and Regional Adaptation and Transition initiative to help communities and regions adjust to changing economic conditions. Communities interested in accessing the Rural Community and Adaptation Grant Program can contact Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development’s Rural Development Division at 780-427-2409, email or visit www.rural.alberta.ca.
Overall funding for the initiative was made available through The Government of Canada’s $1-billion Community Development Trust to help provinces and territories assist communities, organizations and workers move toward greater economic self-reliance. Community Development Trust funding supports two priorities of the Government of Alberta:
- enhancing value-added activity, increasing innovation and improving the long-term sustainability of Alberta’s economy; and
- promoting strong and vibrant communities and reducing crime so Albertans feel safe.
To call toll free within Alberta dial 310-0000