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TUMBLER RIDGE, B.C – The Tumbler Ridge UNESCO Global Geopark is receiving over $600,000 from the province for a multi-use facility.

The Geopark is looking to create a permanent multi-use interpretive centre including permanent displays, cafe and outdoor community gathering space.

The project is one of 54 others receiving funding from the province through the Community Economic Recovery Infrastructure Program’s (CERIP) destination development stream.

The $20 million in stream funding is to invest in projects that support the recovery and resilience of tourism. In a release Thursday, the province says the projects will create jobs and develop infrastructure to attract visitors to B.C. communities when travel resumes.

“Our laser focus right now is on helping people and businesses during the pandemic while making sure we’re ready to welcome visitors and explore B.C. when it is safe to do so,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport.

“Investing in community-based tourism infrastructure not only creates good-paying jobs; it also helps to rebuild this hard-hit industry and ensures B.C.’s reputation as a world-class travel destination remains strong.”

An additional $34.5 million has been allocated for 95 tourism-related projects from other CERIP funding streams, totalling almost $55 million toward tourism resiliency and development.

Projects were chosen for their tourism benefits to communities and British Columbians and employment opportunities.

CERIP is providing $100 million in one-time infrastructure grants for shovel-worthy projects throughout B.C. CERIP’s funding is distributed across five different streams: Municipal Affairs; Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport; Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operators and Rural Development; and Children and Family Development.

The Global Geopark is one of five in Canada and is an area recognized as having an internationally significant geological heritage. The park features waterfalls, dinosaur footprints, alpine hikes and caves.

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