The Halifax County Industrial Development Authority (IDA) has been awarded a grant by the United States Community Advancement and Improvement Program (USCAIP) for use on Phase III of the IDA's Southern Virginia Advanced Manufacturing Center (SVAMC) on Greens Folly Road. The $427,500 grant will used to improve and expand on-site utilities and infrastructure.

The IDA worked with the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP), which helped identify this grant opportunity for Halifax. "Investment by this USCAIP partner organization is significant for the development of the Southern Virginia Advanced Manufacturing Center," says Liz Povar, Vice-President of Business Expansion for VEDP. "The investment aligns with state, regional and local strategies and will add to the strength of Halifax County's business attraction and retention opportunities."

"The USCAIP grant provides benefits beyond its dollar value," says Matt Leonard, The IDA's Executive Director. "It will act as the required local match for the recently awarded $1,114,535 from the Tobacco Commission, relieving the County from having to make this match. It will also extend natural gas onto the site through an easement under the railroad, making natural gas available to the south and east side of the tracks for the first time." This includes South Boston, and some of the largest assets of the public school system, as well as many large private companies and residences.

Columbia Gas of Virginia Representative Jon Slaunwhite describes the collaboration with the IDA and importance of this extension, saying "We are committed to supporting the Halifax IDA in growing Virginia's economy. This project is an example of this collaboration and will allow Columbia Gas to expand our facilities and allow clean, reliable and domestic natural gas to support jobs and growth in the region."

Much of the grant monies previously received and spent to date have been used to replace the SVAMC's roofing and update the fire protection facilities. "We understand that work so far, while critical to stopping the facility's decline, is not highly visible work" says Leonard. "Over the next year and a half, Halifax citizens will see the building and grounds begin to transform, and our prospect industries will find a more ready site for them to consider."