Wingham is increasingly being noticed as a regional commercial and service hub by investors. Residents already know of the plethora of goods and services available to them. Repeatedly, we hear people commenting on the quality of life that we enjoy in North Huron. Once referred to by a new resident as "the quintessential hometown", Wingham has retained that hometown feeling while changing to meet the needs of today's economy. A new educational campus, upcoming investments in our hospital and revitalized infrastructure will serve our residents well as we position North Huron for progression and growth.
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There is a transformation underway in the village of Blyth. While remaining true to its vision of a vibrant village with historic appeal, private investment is creating a positive momentum for a revitalized and renewed community. The spirit of collaboration was apparent in many of the projects completed or initiated in 2012, from a successful inaugural year for the Business Improvement Area (BIA) and Buskerfest to a renewed look at well-established partnerships. Looking forward, public investment in infrastructure will ensure that the growth and vitality of this village will continue through 2013 and beyond. Below is a list of some of the accomplishments realized in 2012 as well as a look ahead to the plans for 2013.
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North Huron staff are currently working on the following initiatives:
Wingham & Area Industrial Land Strategy
The staff of the municipalities of North Huron and Morris-Turnberry are working collaboratively with County Planners and the County's Senior Economic Development Officer on a Wingham & Area Industrial Land Strategy.
The goal of the strategy is to establish development ready employment/industrial land in both municipalities. To help facilitate development and business expansion, we need to streamline the approval process and remove barriers. Planning studies and assessments required by both municipalities and Planners could be completed ahead of time so that these industrial/employment lands are development ready. An application has been submitted to the Rural Economic Development (RED) program requesting funds to help with the cost of these studies.
North Huron's stategic Plan emphasizes the importance of working collaboratively with other municipalities and stakeholders to advance the actions and achieve the outcomes of our plan. The Wingham & Area Industrial Land Strategy is a partnership and collaboration. Also, a key area of focus of our Strategic Plan is economic development and ensuring "we are well prepared for development and growth". One of the related action items is to "create more serviced and industrial land in North Huron".
Expansion to Sacred Heart Catholic School
An expansion planned for Sacred Heart Catholic School in 2014 will create additional space to accommodate all day kindergarten.
Wingham Creek Residential Subdivision
Wingham Creek development is proposed to provide 454 single detached, semi-detached and townhouse units, parks, open spaces, walking trails and stormwater management ponds. Development applications have been submitted to the Township of North Huron and the County of Huron. The proponents of the project, A2a Capital Management, recently has a Community Open House on February 6, 2013. For more information about this development, contact A2A at firstname.lastname@example.org.
New Elementary School (Maitland River Elementary)
$11 million investment in the community - opened in September 2013. The new Maitland River Elementary School houses over 460 JK - grade 6 students completing an education campus that includes F. E. Madill School, home to grade 7 - 12 students and Sacred Heart Catholic School. The new school features 24 classrooms including 4 kindergarten spaces, 1 flexible kindergarten/oversize classroom, 15 regular classrooms.
Main Street Reconstruction Project – Wingham
Josephine Street, Wingham’s main street and business district, has been reconstructed with new water and sewer infrastructure, sidewalks, streetlights, pavement and other design elements. This $5.5 million project, which started in the spring of 2011, was completed in August 2012.
Business Retention and Expansion (BR+E) Report - Wingham
A Business Retention and Expansion report for Wingham was completed in 2011 by the Township of North Huron in partnership with OMAFRA, the Huron Business Development Corporation, and Huron County. BR + E is a proven economic tool that is providing Wingham with an economic and community development direction that is supported by the business community to develop and implement a downtown revitalization action plan using information obtained from the study, resulting in the partners working together for the betterment of the whole community. Action plans have been completed to implement the key recommendations.
View the report here
Business Retention and Expansion (BR+E) Report – Blyth
The Blyth Business Improvement Association (BIA) and the County of Huron have partnered on a Business Retention and Expansion Report for Blyth. This report was presented in October 2012 and council met with local businesses in November 2012 to follow up on the issues, concerns and recommendations in the report.
Downtown Streetscape Master Plan – Blyth
The Township of North Huron, Huron Economic Development Matters, and the Blyth Idea Group (BIG) retained the services of Stantec Consulting Inc. to complete a Downtown Streetscape Master Plan for Blyth. A community meeting was held in January 2013 to review the conceptual drawings and discuss next steps and possible funding options.
Branding Initiatives – Wingham and Blyth
The business communities in Blyth and Wingham are actively building their brand image. Projects are being spearheaded by the Business Improvement Areas that will promote the area.
North Huron is a progressive commercial core for the surrounding area with each community having its own unique characteristics.
Wingham is a commercial hub with over 200 businesses in the area. Blyth is a cultural hub, playing host to thousands of people each summer who attend the highly regarded Blyth Summer Festival and events held at the Blyth Campground. East Wawanosh is a jewel boasting some of the richest agricultural land in the province. The Maitland River runs through our municipality offering a plethora of seasonal outdoor activities.
We are a municipality that can offer an excellent quality of life – we are respectful of our history and our hometown atmosphere. At the same time, our business community is progressive, global and growing.