Growth and Economic Development Strategy
On March 26, 2018 Council approved, the Growth and Economic Development Strategy for the County of Grande Prairie. For an overview of the strategy, please refer to the executive summary [PDF - 6.2 MB] or to view the full report, refer to the complete strategy [PDF - 65.2 MB].
What is a Growth and Economic Development Strategy?
A Growth and Economic Development Strategy is a strategy that has been adopted by Council that provides a road-map for attracting new investment and ensuring long-term sustainable growth. The Growth and Economic Development Strategy (the Strategy) also provides a framework for how land in the County can best be utilized to create additional economic opportunities.
Why has the County of Grande Prairie prepared a Growth and Economic Development Strategy?
The County of Grande Prairie is proactively identifying current and future economic opportunities that can supplement its rich agricultural, resource, and tourism based economy.
By gaining a comprehensive understanding of the social, economic, and environmental factors at play in the County, the Growth and Economic Development Strategy establishes a 50-year vision that shows how to best accommodate future growth, and how to strengthen economic development in a sustainable, responsible way. In doing this, it will become part of the foundation for a review and update to the County’s Municipal Development Plan (MDP) and can serve as a strategic document for participation in the Upper Peace Regional Plan when it is being prepared by the Alberta Government.
What are strategic directions for diversifying the economy identified in the Strategy?
Through engagement with residents, stakeholders, and industry representatives along with research into economic trends and forecasts, a number of strategic directions and principles were identified in the Strategy that the County could adopt to promote growth and diversification of its economy.
Though agriculture, energy and forestry will remain critical drivers of the regional economy, emerging opportunities in value-added agriculture, bio-industry, tourism, and commercial and retail development will play an increasingly important role in the area’s development. The ability to provide high quality education and training to leverage important public investments such as the new regional hospital will be important enablers to capitalize on new growth opportunities.
To capture the many opportunities identified, based on the feedback received, the following are directions the County needs to work towards:
- Support collaboration by facilitating community dialogue.
- Foster entrepreneurship to capitalize on the entrepreneurial and driven community.
- Develop local leadership to foster a strong and diverse team of local leaders.
- Foster market access by developing initiatives that carefully balance agricultural, industrial, commercial and residential land uses with regional environmental sustainability.
- Leverage natural advantages have driven historical growth and will be critical to developing new value-add opportunities in evolving bio-economy and energy markets.
- Focus on impacts to target and achieve a clear set of outcomes.
What are the key initiatives the County and its partners are recommended to undertake over the next five years (2018-2023)?
To achieve the vision, and guiding principles in the Strategy, the report recommends the County undertake initiatives related to growth management, required infrastructure, and economic development. See the recommendations in the full report [PDF - 65.2 MB].