Northern Development Funds Ashcroft’s Kickstarting Tourism Project

PRINCE GEORGE, BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA — June 27, 2008 — Northern Development Initiative Trust announced today grant funding provided to the Village of Ashcroft for heritage promotion, downtown revitalization, and community marketing.

Mayor Andy Anderson stated, “We are very pleased to receive this funding from the Northern Development Initiative Trust to deliver on projects that have been planned through a multi-year community development process that brought together a wide range of our residents to work on shared priority initiatives.”

Northern Development Initiative Trust will provide the Village of Ashcroft with a $30,000 grant contribution for the Kickstarting Tourism project which has a total budget of $127,000. The project encompasses tourism strategy implementation including community heritage promotion, downtown revitalization and improvements, accessibility priorities, marketing, promotion, and evaluation. Key deliverables of the project are to demonstrate the potential value of tourism to the community by doubling tourism-based visits during summer 2008 as well as to establish a long-term commitment and plan for tourism industry development among businesses and community groups in Ashcroft.

“We look forward to the many positive results this project will deliver within the community of Ashcroft,” stated Trust Chair, Bruce Sutherland. “The Trust is providing funding for this project via our Pine Beetle Recovery Program, which focuses on projects that support economic diversification and create new jobs in communities affected by the Mountain Pine Beetle epidemic, encourage regional collaboration, and establish enduring relationships between business, First Nations, local government and the broader community.”

“It is great to see this project moving forward with funding contribution to a neighbouring community in the southern area of the Trust’s central and northern BC region,” said Trust Director and Mayor of Logan Lake, Ella Brown.

In 2005, the Province of British Columbia recognized the devastation to the forests of the interior region of the Province caused by the Mountain Pine Beetle epidemic. The Premier announced a $50 million Provincial contribution to the Northern Development Initiative Trust, including $30 million for the Trust to specifically dedicate to projects aimed at helping communities respond to the impact of the infestation. Today, the strategic investment of the Pine Beetle Recovery Program has grown to $33.4 million. Since creation of the Program, Northern Development Initiative Trust has provided $8.5 million in Pine Beetle Recovery Program funding for 38 projects with a total value of $47.7 million focused on community and economic development in regions affected by the epidemic.