Otago has been given a multimillion-dollar funding boost by the Provincial Growth Fund.
The region has scored $7 million – with $6.5 million going towards the Clutha Gold Great Ride Cycle Trail to expand the 73km track to a total of 136km – from Lawrence to Waihola via Milton.
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It is reported the construction will require 62 workers over the three-year construction phase.
Other funds will go to the Dunedin City Council, the Clutha District Council and private firm Escea Ltd.
Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced this morning that he was investing in tourism, transport, manufacturing and skills development aimed at helping to boost economic growth in the Otago region.
“From Cromwell in the north to Balclutha in the south, the PGF is committed to unlocking the economic potential of the entire Otago region,” Mr Jones said.
“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 fund will provide a grant of $6.5 million to the project, with the Government’s Cycle Trail Enhancement and Extension Fund providing an additional $1.5 million.
Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis said the Clutha Gold is one of the 22 Great Rides of Nga Haerenga New Zealand Cycle Trail.
“We’re delighted to be encouraging more people to get on a bike and experience the beauty of Central Otago through this investment,” Mr Davis said.
OTHER FUNDING FOR OTAGO
The Clutha District will also benefit from a $218,000 PGF investment to build a slip lane off State Highway 1, 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,” Mr Jones said.
Dunedin-based manufacturing company Escea Ltd is to receive a $96,000 investment to investigate new and advanced wood fire technology.
This could lead to five to six new jobs and up to 35 jobs over five 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 (Big Daddy Adventures Ltd).
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,” Shane Jones said.
“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.”