The new GE plant in Welland is just one example of many new industrial development happening in the city.
The City of Welland has attracted almost 1.5 million sq. ft. of new industrial development since 2015 as a result of its “pro-development” approach and its financial incentive programs.
The Rose City has made a concerted effort to attract new industrial development by offering a variety of Community Improvement Plan (CIP) programs and financial incentives to attract investment through its Brownfield CIP; Downtown and Health and Wellness Cluster CIP; Gateway Economic Zone CIP; Development Charge Reduction Programs, and Tax Increment Grants (TIGs). Many of these programs are funded jointly by the City of Welland and the Region of Niagara.
“City Council has been very supportive of these strategic incentive programs that have been so crucial to our success in attracting investment, creating jobs, creating economic spinoffs such as more housing development, bringing new residents to our city, and diversifying our economy,” said Welland Mayor Frank Campion. “The city and the Region jointly fund and administer many of these programs through a successful partnership. While I’m concerned by the current incentive program review currently underway at the Region, I’m confident they will continue and be enhanced. The numbers here in Welland prove they are an indispensable tool for attracting much needed investment to our city and the Region.”
The developments represent over $400 million in private sector investment and 375 new jobs for Welland.
Regional Chairman Alan Caslin says these are the results Niagara is seeing because Regional Council made economic development a priority over the last four years. “Our tenacity on following up on leads is paying off. The results are in and the results are good,” said the Chair.
Caslin also pointed out that Niagara has been in a new era of individual municipalities working together to foster business growth and attract new businesses to the Region. “Whether upper tier or lower tier governments, we are all looking at Niagara as one location when pursuing opportunities for economic growth and job creation,” Caslin added. “We’ve gotten past the in-fighting between municipalities and it’s rewarding to see great cities like Welland getting great results.”
Welland has also experienced a significant uptake in its Downtown Health and Wellness Cluster CIP incentives, and its Brownfield CIP programs, both of which are leveraging private sector investment. Last week, City Council approved a new and expanded Brownfield CIP program that provides additional incentives for investors.
The city’s Development Team meets regularly to review projects and ensure that staff and key Divisions are aligned in supporting the city’s growth and development agenda, and are working collaboratively with investors. The city is also creating a second industrial business park with serviced lots to meet demand.
Investor interest in the city’s industrial lands is also helping to generate interest in residential development. Based on city and Region growth projections, the city is expected to grow by almost 19,000 residents by 2041, which would push the city’s population over 70,000. Last year, 223 new residential dwelling units were created in the city, which represented the highest number in 10 years. To date, 128 new residential dwelling units have been created, compared with 87 units created this time last year. The city is on track to create 300 new units by the end of 2018.
“In addition to our incentive programs, businesses are benefitting from affordable land in Welland and Niagara, a skilled work force, multi-modal transportation options including highways and trade corridors to global markets, and access to leading research and innovation offered by Niagara College and Brock University,” said Dan Degazio, the city’s Director of Economic Development. “I speak with investors and developers every day, and I know how important these incentives are to their business plans and decisions. For Welland and Niagara, they’re giving us a competitive advantage in a global economy.”
A list of new industrial development in Welland since 2015
Company and Square Footage
General Electric 490,000
Bertie & Clinton Insurance 21,736
Masonry Production Facility (details TBA) 300,000
Lumber/Wood Products (details TBA) 188,414
Niagara Holdings – food processing 19,550
Devron Sales Ltd. 11,528
Northern Gold 165,916
Athena Donair 22,398
Salit Steel 174,000
Gillor Holdings Limited 8,095
TOTAL 1,414,704 Sq. Ft.