Amy Melmock is the Manager of Economic Development Cowichan. (Timothy Richards Photo)

Economic Development Cowichan receives up to $30K to promote industrial lands for new business

The Island Coastal Economic Trust is providing up to $30,000 in funding to support the Cowichan Valley Regional District’s economic development strategy to bring new industries to the area.

ICET funding announced on Thursday will enable Economic Development Cowichan to develop a plan to enhance, augment, and promote industrial lands in the region.

The plan will create an inventory of current and potential industrial lands, evaluate if existing industrial properties are achieving their highest and best use, and recommend strategies for attracting new industries to the Cowichan region.

“Attracting new industries to the region – and helping existing industries expand – requires a clear understanding of our land base as well as industry needs and requirements,” said ICET Chair Mayor Phil Kent. “With that inventory and analysis in place, the region and its communities will be well positioned to jointly promote opportunities and target specific industries and companies.”

The goal is to develop sector strategies and attract investment to increase productivity.

Cowichan’s senior planners and land use managers, First Nations communities as well as local and provincial economic development partners were all consulted as part of development of the project concept.

“We recognize the importance of working in partnership with industry, local government and the community as we go forward with this project,” said Economic Development Cowichan Manager Amy Melmock.

“A growing number of advanced manufacturing, food processing and other value-added companies are emerging in Cowichan – and now is the time to build on their success.”

Market research will be used to develop a plan with recommendations on attracting major new investment to existing and potential industry holdings and those industries on the verge of new development.

The project is supported through ICET’s Economic Development Readiness Program – Sector Development Strategies stream.

Sector organizations, regional economic development organizations, and other non-profit organizations may be eligible for funding through this program.