Lou Rinaldi, MPP for Northumberland Quinte-West today announced that the Province will be “investing” $40 million over three years in the Main Street Enhancement Fund. Of this, $26M will be provided in 2018 for the Main Street Revitalization Initiative with $380,000 going to Lou’s Riding. Cobourg’s share is $52,509 while Port Hope gets $50,234 and Hamilton gets $45,312 (more detail in links below). These numbers are maximum amounts – no detail was provided on exactly what the conditions are for disbursement – presumably there will need to be a demonstration that the money was spent on relevant projects. At the announcement, Mayor Gil Brocanier said that new initiatives on downtown vitalization will be coming. Currently, work on downtown vitalization is the focus of the Business Attraction Marketing plan approved by Council in November 2017. This is managed by the Downtown Coalition, the DBIA and Wendy Gibson, Cobourg’s Economic Development Officer.
In the accompanying press release, Gil was quoted:
“The Town of Cobourg welcomes this new funding through the Main Street Revitalization Initiative which will greatly assist in moving our own Downtown Business Attraction plan forward in order to continue to attract residents and visitors, while also supporting our growing business community.”
The Province seems to have recognized the need for revitalization of the Downtown core in Rural communities (less than 100,000 population). They now provide help on setting up projects although no up-front detail or direction is provided on what those projects might be. Their web page on their “Downtown Revitalization Program” is here. Cobourg has been working at vitalization since the summer of 2013 – it’s hard to see how Provincial involvement will make a difference.
- Download a list of allocations to all Ontario municipalities here (Toronto is not included)
- Cobourg’s Business Attraction Marketing Plan – November 2017
- Update on Downtown Vitalization – October 2017
- Press Release for this New Funding – 14 March 2018