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Southland is receiving another boost from the Provincial Growth Fund, with Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones today announcing a boost of more than $1.7 million, including $500,000 for developing Invercargill Airport.
Mr Jones, who is in Invercargill for the announcement today, said the funding would help Invercargill Airport prepare for the first direct connection between Auckland and Invercargill since 1995.
"Through this investment, we’re preparing Invercargill for the growth generated by direct flights to and from Auckland.
"It will make it easier for Southland-based industries, especially aquaculture, to export their perishable goods to key domestic and international markets," Mr Jones said.
e also announced $550,000 to help establish the Coin South business start-up investment network, which is aimed at retaining businesses in the region and driving "innovation, business growth and job creation in the region."
"Enabling Southland to retain and grow young businesses is a no-brainer.
"These businesses could otherwise leave the region in search of capital.
"This investment network will help to drive innovation, business growth and job creation in the region."
The Oreti Managed Aquifer Recharge Pilot, aimed at improving the management of groundwater storage, is getting $593,481.
This is set to help combat water shortages and bring environmental, social and economic benefits to the region.
The Stewart Island Future Opportunities project is also getting $100,000.
Despite having only 400 residents, Stewart Island/Rakiura attracts close to 40,000 visits per year and the $100,000 would help the area "leverage its economic opportunities so that it continues to punch above its weight," Mr Jones said.
"These projects have been selected for funding because we know that they will help drive Southland’s economic growth.
"These projects will help turn the region’s strategy into action," he said.
In April two Gore projects received a $3.7 million Government injection and in total, before today's announcement, Southland had received $17.8million - $12million of which is for establishing a fibre connection to Milford Sound.
In comparison, as of April, Otago had received $1.365 million.
Invercargill Airport Air Cargo and Terminal Development
The new Auckland to Invercargill jet service begins in August this year.
The funding will help the airport to deliver:
- Facilities to manage increased freight volumes and specialised loading
- Introduction of security screening for baggage and passengers
- Hardstands suitable for A320 and A321 aircraft
- Security designation changes including enhanced physical security arrangements
- Increased emergency response support
The upgrade will require a range of jobs, including electrical, fibre, geo-technical engineering, design and fabrication work. Invercargill Airport are forecast to increase their full-time equivalent jobs from nine to 16 during the 12-month trial of scheduled jet services from Auckland.