IEDC Grants Support Regional Projects

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The funding is part of Governor Holcomb's 2017 Next Level Agenda. The funding is part of Governor Holcomb's 2017 Next Level Agenda.

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. has awarded a total of $3 million in grants to support quality of place projects in east central and west central Indiana. The funding builds on planning grants awarded to each region two years ago as part of the Regional Cities Initiative.

The IEDC says each region's plan focuses on attracting and retaining talent by enhancing connectivity, livability, and culture. In a news release, Governor Eric Holcomb, who presided over the IEDC board of directors meeting in Lafayette that approved the funding, said, "To build on Indiana's economic success, we're committed to helping our communities create long-term plans focused on quality of place and talent attraction."

In east central Indiana, which covers Blackford, Delaware, Henry, Jay, Madison, and Randolph counties, efforts being supported by the funding include revitalization of downtown areas, increasing quality housing, and investing in cultural amenities. For example, the IEDC says one of the top priorities for the region is expanding its existing 123 miles of multi-use trails into a regional trail system that promotes recreation, health and wellness, and connects regional assets.

The west central Indiana region covers Knox, Sullivan, and Vigo counties. The IEDC says projects that will benefit from the funding include a new visitors center at the historic William Henry Harrison Presidential Mansion, additional affordable housing options along First Street and the riverfront in Vincennes, and the creation of an entrepreneurial space to support business growth. The first phase of many of these projects are already underway.

"The Wabash River region has tremendous potential for economic development," said Phil Rath, chair of the Wabash River Regional Development Authority. "Riverfronts are an attractive destination for families and our goal is to continue working with communities all along the historic Wabash to utilize the riverfront to benefit the development of downtown areas, enhance the ability to attract businesses, and create a more desirable convention and visitor environment."

The grants are part of Holcomb's 2017 Next Level Agenda to continue regional economic development efforts following the success of the Regional Cities Initiative.

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