New businesses and increased marine tourism could be part of the plan for Kelsey Bay Harbour after an in-depth needs analysis is conducted thanks to a $5,705 grant from the Island Coastal Economic Trust.
“Over the years, Kelsey Bay has been recognized as a strategic asset for the west coast commercial fishery and a key access point for marine tourism,” said ICET Chair Phil Kent.
“Not only will this plan ensure Kelsey Bay keeps that position, it will further strengthen it and attract new businesses to the region.”
Identified as a key priority in the Sayward Economic Development Strategy Report, the Sayward Harbour Authority, Village of Sayward, Hub City Fisheries and other proponents are committed to ensuring any redevelopment capitalizes on all opportunities.
The grant will provide the funds needed to conduct an analysis to ensure the needs of all harbour users, current and future, are properly assessed and integrated into the harbour development plans.
The project will include a complete site review and stakeholder consultations resulting in a report providing an assessment of the harbour’s current capacity and recommendations for the development required to accommodate future activities.
“We know there is great potential in redeveloping the harbour,” said Sayward Harbour Authority President Fred Rhodes.
“With proper planning and expansion we can expect to see increased employment during the fishing season, marine sector business expansions as well as new tourism and hospitality sector opportunities. For a small community hard hit by the resource sector downturn, this is a huge opportunity to bring good jobs and vitality back to the Sayward Valley.”
Kelsey Bay is a small harbour located in the Village of Sayward, situated between Campbell River and Telegraph Cove on Northern Vancouver Island.
The harbour provides public, commercial, and private facilities to a variety of users.
The Island Coastal Economic Trust is a $50 million endowment established in 2006 by the Government of British Columbia to help diversify the economies of central and northern Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast.
ICET is guided by a Board of Directors and two Regional Advisory Committees which include more than 50 locally elected officials and MLAs and five appointees. This team of leaders collaborates to set regional priorities and build vital multi-regional networks.
Through a community-centred decision-making process, ICET has approved $48 million for more than 125 economic infrastructure and economic development readiness projects on the Island and Sunshine Coast since implementing its grant program in 2007. ICET investments have leveraged more than $270 million in incremental funding into the region.
For more on ICET visit, www.islandcoastaltrust.ca