Overview of the Niagara Gateway Economic Zone Centre Community Incentive Plan (CIP)

image courtesty of Niagara Region

The Niagara Gateway Economic Zone Centre Community Incentive Plan (CIP) was developed through the Region of Niagara to encourage the private sector development and redevelopment of Niagara’s employment lands. The Gateway centre includes the municipalities of Fort Erie, Welland, Port Colborne, Thorold and Niagara Falls. The cities were strategically identified for their advantageous multimodal transportation networks that provides access to water, rail and road.

Offering incentives to invest in Niagara positions the municipalities as attractive investment communities that can compete for business on an international level. The purpose of offering incentives is to ‘revitalize, diversify and strengthen the economy in Niagara by promoting development of the employment lands.’ The Region aims to do so through two programs: Tax Increment Based Grant Program and the Regional Development Charge Program.

Strategic advantage of Niagara’s employment lands

The Gateway centre is a major area for cross border traffic and the movement of goods. Between the municipalities 2000 hectares of employment plans are available for development  in sectors including manufacturing, retail and office space and warehousing.

In support of the plan, significant improvements have been implemented to local infrastructure and transportation modes, including the expansion of the 406 Highway leading into Welland.

Educational partners within Niagara, including Niagara College and Brock University, support future labour force requirements through academic programming tailored to Niagara’s economic strengths.

Priority employment lands

The region has identified six priority employment lands within the Gateway.

  • Brock Business Park: research and development.

  • Highway 406 Economic Gateway:  advanced manufacturing, transportation, trade, food processing, warehousing.

  • Welland Canal Green Manufacturing and Assembly Zone: transport of good/materials.

  • Fort Erie Industrial Park: cross border trade, logistics, warehousing, offices.

  • Whirlpool Bridge Lands: cross border trade, offices.

  • Niagara Falls QEW Business Park: business support services, tourism support services.

Rural employment lands in Thorold, Niagara Falls and Welland are also identified as priorities and are segmented for dry industrial uses.

Regional incentives available

The Gateway CIP provides two programs the Tax Increment Based Grant Program and the Regional Development Charge Program. As a part of the plans multi-faceted market strategy the region provides a consultant free of charge to help investors prepare applications for the Gateway CIP. The below CIP programs can be combined with CIPs already offered by each municipality.

Tax Increment Based Grant Program (TIBG)

– applies to regional and local government property taxes

– available for up to 10 years for projects within the outlined strategic locations and for 5 years for projects outside of the strategic locations

Regional Development Charge Grant Program

– granted to “exceptional” projects that achieved high economic and environmental design performances under the program established markers

– applies to the Region’s development fees only with a cap of $1.5 million.

Connect with me today to learn about the development and investment opportunities available in the Niagara Gateway Economic Zone.

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