In 2006, Southside Economic Development Association received a $80,000 grant from Northern Development through the Community Halls and Recreation Facilities program towards this $249,292 project. This has been a funding partnership of Southside Economic Development Association, Northern Development, Nechako-Kitamaat Development Fund Society, Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako, and Village of Burns Lake
2012- Confronting the decline of the forestry industry and the hardship that is affecting the ranching industry, the Southside Economic Development Association established a multi-purpose community building that can facilitate the visitor information centre, farmer’s market, community economic development office, and community boardroom. Additionally, the centre is used by community members that teach piano, host book sales, put on coffee houses, and many community events.
The Southside Economic Development Association’s centre is a self-sustaining asset because it has a residence attached that produces rental income. This allows the association to continuously operate as a non-profit society with a goal of continually operating a venue for local residents to develop, market, and distribute goods and services in a co-operative manner.
Southside Economic Development Association continues to develop the facility, making the Southside more attractive for tourists and members of the community. The land around the facility has been developed into a botanical garden. The Southside Nature Path is now a popular community location with its wheelchair accessible boardwalk and array of local plants and trees.
After the completion of this new facility, the Southside Economic Development Association reports that the visitor information centre has seen an increase in stops inquiring about directions or information. In the summer of 2009, the centre saw a total of 511 visitors, many of which enquiring about the new Southside Nature Path, which is being developed as part of Southside Economic Development Association's economic development strategy of establishing the area along Francois Lake as a heritage and natural tourism destination.
The Southside Economic Development Association office is now operating in this facility and is available to community members seeking to develop new business ideas or community infrastructure and services. The association directly supports community members as they conduct fundraising activities, including help with grant applications for community projects. The association also helps community members and local businesses with incubating new business ideas and preparing business plans in Southbank.