19 March 2019
Getting Ready for Growth
Promoting growth across the District has been a focus for Gore District Mayor Tracy Hicks for some time.
“Like many other rural communities, we know we are facing challenges associated with an ageing population.
“But we also know we have a strong and positive community, willing to work together to encourage more people to stay, move to or visit our District,” he said.
In mid-2018 the Gore District Council facilitated the development of a community-led strategy to promote sustainable population growth.
Community representatives, led by former senior police officer Richard McPhail, worked together to identify the economic, social, environmental and cultural conditions needed to increase the District’s population by 1,500 people by 2030. Outcomes were pulled into a strategy called Ready for Growth.
Business, workforce and development, community wellbeing, attractiveness and facilitating growth have been identified as Ready for Growth priority areas.
Gore District Council Economic Development Coordinator Ceri Macleod said there has been some great progress in delivering components of Ready for Growth.
“There has been a lot of work behind the scenes developing projects that deliver real outcomes. Some of those projects depend on funding from external bodies.
“We have been working hard to develop applications to leverage funding into our economy for a variety of activities. The Provincial Growth Fund has been an area of focus.”
Gore District Council Social Capacity and Health Coordinator Bernadette Hunt said there has been outstanding support from the community in turning ideas into outputs.
“Community resilience, support for young people and positive ageing are just some of the areas we have focused on.”
Mr Hicks said the local population and a forward-thinking council were essential to promote sustainable growth.
“We need to deliver the right socio-economic conditions so our children and grandchildren can continue to thrive in this beautiful District.
“The Ready for Growth vision is Rural City Living in action. We’re putting in the hard work to help achieve that vision,” he said.