Premier Christy Clark was in Williams Lake Thursday afternoon to announce that applications for the first year of funding under the BC Rural Dividend will be accepted from April 4 to May 31, 2016.
She says as committed during the September 2015 Union of British Columbia Municipalities convention and in Balanced Budget 2016, the three-year $75-million Rural Dividend will help rural communities with populations under 25,000 diversify and strengthen their economies.
“We promised to help manage the effects of rapid growth and share the wealth that comes from rural B.C. more fairly with the communities that create it. And thanks to the hard work of Donna Barnett and the rural Advisory Council, we’re keeping that promise.”
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 all eligible to apply.
Single applicants can apply for up to $100,000 for community-driven projects and must contribute at least 20% of the total project cost.
Partnerships involving more than one eligible applicant can apply for up to $500,000 and must contribute 40% of the total project cost.
Applicant contributions can include in-kind contributions of up to 10%.
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, program guidelines, as well as detailed instructions on how to apply will be available as of April 4, 2016, when the new Rural Dividend website goes live: www.gov.bc.ca/ruraldividend
The criteria for the Rural Dividend was designed with input from the Rural Advisory Council, which was formed in March 2015.