July 23, 2014
Prince George – Downtown Prince George will receive a significant development boost beginning this fall thanks in part to $250,000 in grant funding from Northern Development Initiative Trust. The funding was approved at the Trust’s July board of directors meeting, and will be used to fund the Downtown Prince George 2014 Placemaking Enhancement Initiative. Downtown Prince George (the Prince George the Downtown Business Improvement Association) will receive the funding to lead the initiative.
The project is well timed to help prepare the downtown area to welcome thousands of new visitors to Prince George in 2015 for the Canada Winter Games, 100th anniversary of the city, 25th anniversary of the University of Northern British Columbia, the BC Chamber of Commerce AGM, the North Central Local Government Association AGM and Conference and the 10th anniversary of the Trust, among other events.
The Placemaking Enhancement Initiative includes an enhanced façade improvement grant program, the installation of branded welcome signage and public art. These elements will be developed in collaboration with other City of Prince George and Downtown PG initiatives including wayfinding signage and landscaping. The collaboration is designed to leverage upcoming 2015 events for the long-term benefit of downtown including attracting new business to the area.
The initiative is an enhanced version of the Trust’s existing Business Façade Improvement program, which provides a rebate to downtown businesses to improve their storefronts in municipalities throughout the region. The additional funding is designed to execute a uniform vision for downtown Prince George to maximize the city’s 2015 opportunities, but, should it be successful, it could serve as a model for a similar enhanced program in other communities throughout the region.
Ten businesses have already signed letters of intent to apply to the enhanced façade improvement program. Representatives from Downtown Prince George will be in touch with business and property owners in the downtown area to provide more details about the program and application process beginning this week.