Build Nova Scotia grants enhance communities’ attractiveness, livability and accessibility

Twenty one communities have new places to gather thanks to a Build Nova Scotia program focused on promoting community involvement and increasing visitation.

Annapolis Royal Refresh!, one of the community organizations to receive a $50,000 grant, used the money to enhance the town’s market square and wharf while increasing the walkability of the community.

Annapolis Royal Refresh! spokesperson Adele MacDonald said the project has three focuses: improvements around the Annapolis Royal wharf that included an asphalt mural by Nova Scotian Mi’kmaq artist Lorne Julian; the rebuilding of the stage at the market square with seating; and new way finding project to help direct people to the different areas in the historic community.

All the projects Build Nova Scotia supported have accessibility and inclusiveness in mind. Annapolis Royal’s, for instance, has wider space and smooth surfaces for wheelchairs and an accessible viewfinder heightened for people with mobility issues.

An economic impacts from the projects is already apparent, says MacDonald, noting the business around the projects are benefiting from a new vibrancy.

Ashley Cunningham, executive director of the Guysborough Business Partnership, said they’re noticing the economic benefits from their project which involved installing kiosks and an outdoor seating area, helping facilitate pop-up food vendors and public events.

“It really did open up opportunities; these small businesses at the kiosks had the option to promote their food. If there was a private event, the vendors that were there were more than willing to go and open the kiosks. They were really receptive and did really well this summer,” Cunningham said.

Some of the other projects that took place are: creating a gathering space in New Glasgow, expanding gathering spaces at the travel centre in Paq’tnkek First Nation, transforming the town square in Glace Bay, a portable park in Amherst and musical instruments in Yarmouth which can be moved throughout the town.

Brian Webb, regional lead for project planning and delivery at Build Nova Scotia, said part of the program is “not just about building things,” but rather “building things to activate” once things are completed.

For more information contact:
Build Nova Scotia
AIRO (Annapolis Investments in Rural Opportunity)
Annapolis Board of Trade
Annapolis Royal Farmers’ and Traders’

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