The town of Vegreville, Alta., will use nearly $10 million to be obtained through three levels of government to build an 80-acre agri-food industrial park.
A $4.9 million grant from the federal government, $3.3 million from the Alberta government and $1.65 million from the town will fund the project.
“It’s tied to the closure of the Case Processing Centre in Vegreville,” which occurred in 2017, said Kaleb Brink, the town’s communications co-ordinator.
The federal government Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Case Processing Centre was moved to Edmonton, which resulted in loss of about 200 jobs as one of the town’s major employers.
Brink said town council has been working ever since to develop other projects that will create employment.
The town is already home to InnoTech Alberta, a subsidiary of Alberta Innovates, which has undertaken major research into hemp production and use. For that reason, town officials hope the new industrial park will attract hemp-related companies and innovators to set up shop.
Brink said conditions of the grant are still being finalized, but it is hoped work to prepare the land and install services will begin in spring 2021 and be completed by fall 2022.
“We’re working on the preliminary engineering right now, and we hope to put the project out to tender over the winter.”
The town, located 100 kilometres from Edmonton, has a population of 5,700, according to the most recent census figures.