Delaware awarded economic development grant

Delaware’s New Castle County has been awarded $41,700 from the U.S. Economic Development Administration to develop an economic development plan for the Routes 9 and 13 corridor south of Wilmington.

The grant is being matched with $40,000 from the county, $5,000 from Delaware Economic Development Office, $5,000 from Delaware River and Bay Authority, $1,500 from the city of New Castle, and $200 from the Historic New Castle Alliance for a grand total of $93,400.

County leaders and its investor partners say the plan’s major objectives will be to identify industries and businesses to grow and attract, promote growth, expand tourism and spur reinvestment of underused properties.

“This initiative is an important first step in revitalizing this area, which is significant to the economy of the county and region,” New Castle County Executive Paul Clark said. “We’re grateful for the cooperation and support we’ve received for this effort.”

Several properties are vacant and blighted along the Routes 9 and 13 corridor, which encompasses the city of New Castle, New Castle County Airport, the Port of Wilmington and the unincorporated areas of the county to the Wilmington border. The area also suffers from higher unemployment rates due to plant closings. County leaders say the corridor is important because of its transportation infrastructure and strategic location on the Northeast Corridor.

A development plan is expected to be complete by December. An official announcement from the county is scheduled for Thursday.

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