Regional Council to increase focus on economic development
Monday, 29 June 2015 10:00 a.m.
Bay of Plenty Regional Council has decided to go ahead with more region-wide economic development planning under its Long Term Plan, adopted last week.
The Regional Council had planned to pull back on funding economic development while it focused on the environment and water quality in its 2015-2025 Plan, which was released for public consultation in February.
Regional Council Chairman Doug Leeder said following submissions Council had decided to reinstate and increase funding for economic development.
“We have reinstated funding for Bay of Connections and SmartGrowth, will complete the eastern Bay spatial plan, retain funds to complete our own spatial plan, publish Invest Bay of Plenty data and undertake a feasibility study into a marine spatial plan. We’ve agreed to increase the operational budget by an extra $50,000 in 2015/16 to help cover the Regional Growth Study costs. We have listened to our community.”
More than $42 million of funding is allocated over the next five years to contribute to regional infrastructure projects. These four projects; the Ōpōtiki Harbour Transformation, Tauranga Marine Precinct, Tauranga Tertiary Campus and SCION Innovation Centre offer truly transformational economic change. Mr Leeder said the Council intended to rebuild a regional fund for a range of priorities across the region, and the funding policy would be reviewed.
Overall, the Council is spending 13 percent of its operational budget to support economic development outcomes.