VICTORIA, B.C. – The Provincial Government is providing nearly $14 million in grants for over 150 projects to support economic development and recreational opportunities for British Columbians in rural communities throughout the province.

The grants include $5 million for 39 trail and recreation projects and almost $9 million for 114 projects that support rural community development. Projects selected for the one-time grants were chosen from three categories; First Nations, municipalities, and not-for-profit organizations.

The City of Fort St. John was awarded $96,000 for the Fort St. John Visitor Centre Feasibility Study, which will help decide the size, amenities, themes, partners, design plan and estimate for construction and operations costs.

The District of Tumbler Ridge was awarded $500,000 to build a world-class cross-country mountain biking trail for all levels and downhill trails within the UNESCO Global Geopark.

Doig River First Nation was awarded $100,00 for a developmental plan for Urban Land Holdings. An economic analysis of development opportunities for three Doig River First Nation-owned urban fee-simple properties in Fort St. John, to help investigate servicing availability and, create development concepts that illustrate potential development.

Saulteau First Nations was awarded $100,000 to conduct land use and economic planning for Saulteau First Nations’ reserve and fee-simple urban lands that total over 30,000 acres through market analysis, and identify lands for economic commercial, market, residential and industrial development activities.

Northern Environmental Action Team was awarded $100,000 for the Peace Region Food Hub, which will help establish a food hub to facilitate increased production and open up local commercial markets for local producers.

The COVID-19 Pandemic has created many unforeseen economic challenges in many rural communities across the province. The grants for these projects are in addition to more than $5 billion in income supports, tax relief, and other funding for people, businesses, and services the province has already announced in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.