PRESS RELEASE: Queenstown Lakes District Council
A new contestable fund to support economic development in the District will be considered by the Queenstown Lakes District Council at its meeting this Thursday.
A $335,000 economic development fund was approved last year, said QLDC General Manager Corporate Services Meaghan Miller. “Of this $150,000 was granted to the Queenstown and Wanaka Chambers of Commerce in the Annual Plan round and a further $50,000 will be set aside for discretionary funding of economic development related initiatives throughout the year.
“Subject to the outcome of Thursday’s meeting, up to $135,000 will be available as a contestable fund aimed at supporting innovation and diversification in the local economy.”
In December last year the Council agreed to appoint an economic development manager tasked, amongst other things, to establish the fund, Ms Miller said.
QLDC Economic Development Manager Peter Harris is looking forward to launching the fund, “We know from past submissions to the Council’s Annual Plan process and conversations with local businesses that there are many motivated businesses and innovative entrepreneurs with a lot to offer the district. This fund is just one of the tools we’ll be using to support them to create a more diverse and resilient economy.”
The proposal has received a positive response from QLDC Mayor Jim Boult. “Council is keen to support initiatives that will foster emerging industries, support existing businesses and help entrepreneurs launch innovative business ideas,” Mayor Boult said.
If the recommendation is approved, applications will open immediately and will be accepted until 6 November, 2017. Applications will be considered by a panel of Councillors and recommendations will go to Council on 14 December, 2017.