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Otago region gets PGF boost

The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing in tourism, transport, manufacturing and skills to help catalyse economic growth in the Otago region, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today.

“From Cromwell in the north to Balclutha in the south, the Provincial Growth Fund is committed to unlocking the economic potential of the entire Otago region,” Shane Jones said.

The projects for the Otago region announced today are:

  • Clutha Gold Great Ride Cycle Trail (Clutha District Council) – $6.5 million
  • Construction workforce modelling (Dunedin City Council) – $250,000
  • SH1 Rosebank Industrial Estate slip lane (Clutha District Council) – $218,000
  • Scoping of new and advanced wood fire technology (Escea Limited) – $96,000
  • Economic Impact Assessment of an adventure park in Cromwell (Big Daddy Adventures Limited) – $20,000

“The largest PGF investment announcement today will support the extension of the Clutha Gold Great Ride Cycle Trail, from the existing 73 km trail to a total of 136 km – from Lawrence to Waihola via Milton. Constructing the additional 63 km will require 62 workers over the three-year construction phase. In the first 10 years of operation, the extended trail has the potential to create an average of 36 jobs per year.

“The expansion of the cycle trail will showcase the Clutha District’s natural beauty and create an environmentally-friendly tourist attraction for visitors to the area. The PGF is proud to help get shovels in the ground to fast-track Clutha’s economic growth.”

The PGF will provide a grant of $6.5m to the project and the Government’s Cycle Trail Enhancement and Extension Fund will provide an additional $1.5 million.

“Clutha Gold is one of the 22 Great Rides of Ngā Haerenga New Zealand Cycle Trail, and we’re delighted to be encouraging more people to get on a bike and experience the beauty of Central Otago through this investment,” Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis said.

The Clutha District will also benefit from a $200,000 PGF investment to build a slip lane off State Highway One, allowing the newly established Rosebank Industrial Park to meet traffic demands and expand.

“The Rosebank Industrial Park has created new opportunities for businesses in Balclutha, which otherwise would have left the town in order to expand. That’s why it makes sense for the PGF to enable the Park to grow even further and create jobs for the district through this investment,” Shane Jones said.

Other funding announced today includes a $96,000 investment for Dunedin-based manufacturing company Escea Limited to investigate new and advanced wood fire technology. This could lead to five to six new jobs and up to 35 jobs over 5 years if the project goes into production.

A further $20,000 investment will go towards an economic impact assessment on the establishment of an adventure park in Cromwell.

The PGF is also supporting Otago to build a sustainable construction workforce through a $250,000 investment to undertake modelling on current and future workforce training and supply requirements.

“Otago has over 700 construction projects which will be worth $10 billion over the next 15 years. This investment has the potential to get local people ready for construction jobs that will allow the region to prosper further.

“The investments we’ve announced today reflect the variety of projects that the region has to offer. The PGF is proud to be supporting Otago to lift its productivity potential,” Shane Jones said.

Otago Provincial Growth Fund announcements to date:

Project

Description

Amount

Centre of Digital Excellence (CODE)

Scope the establishment of the CODE to grow the computer gaming industry.

$95,000

Dunedin Waterfront Project

Complete a full feasibility assessment for the Dunedin Waterfront Project.

$820,000

Dunedin Engineering Hub

Investigate a shared facility offering equipment, training and other resources between Dunedin firms.

$200,000

Waitaki Whitestone Geopark (WWG)

Support for the WWG to obtain UNSECO Geopark status.

$90,000

Otago Strategic Framework

Develop an economic development strategy for the Otago region

$60,000

 

Total

$1,265,000

 

Editor’s note:

Funding from the Provincial Growth Fund is approved in principle and announced, after which contracts are negotiated. Some funding may depend on completion of business cases. Payments are made once agreed milestones are met. These are set as part of contract negotiations, and differ from project to project.

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