You are not permitted to download, save or email this image. Visit image gallery to purchase the image.
Mr Jones is in Gore today to announce the funding, which is part of the provincial growth fund (PGF), aimed at helping young people into jobs and supporting economic growth in Southland.
Of the $3.7 million, a $1.6 million was going towards the Maruawai precinct project, which involves the redevelopment of the Hokonui Moonshine Museum and the creation of the Maruawai Heritage Centre.
The remaining $2.1 million was going towards the Hokonui Huanui programme, to provide wrap-around support services for children and rangatahi (young people).
"It’s the right investment, at the right time, in the right place."
Mr Hicks paid tribute to the partnerships that have been created and the commitment locally to getting these projects to this stage.
"It is also great to have a Government supportive of developing communities like the Gore District to become centres of attraction and excellence for the future," he said.
Both these projects were within the framework of Ready for Growth, a community-led initiative to make the Gore District the best place in New Zealand to live, work, visit and do business.
"It is heartening to see Ready for Growth, which embodies our Rural City Living brand, beginning to realise its potential," Mr Hicks said.
Mr Jones said: "The Gore community has told us they wanted to showcase their local history, develop tourism opportunities, and provide more intensive support for at-risk rangatahi.
"We’ve heard this and are proud to come to the table to support these projects through the PGF,."
The investment in the Maruawai precinct project would "lure more visitors to Gore as they travel around the lower South Island" to places such as Queenstown and Dunedin.
"What’s more, the provincial growth fund will also prepare local young people for the jobs that these tourism opportunities will create through the Hokonui Huanui programme."
The investment would also support local young people to take up jobs that would be created from a growing Southland economy.
"Our investment in the Hokonui Huanui project will help to change the lives of rangatahi who are at risk of long-term unemployment.
"When I was in Gore a year ago I laid down the challenge for the community to come together and put forward their most promising proposals to the Provincial Growth Fund.
"The investments made today are an example of the community working with us to progress their priorities.
"We are proud to support these two projects which will create a solid foundation for future growth in the Gore district."