New Castle-Henry County Economic Development Corp. President Corey Murphy has been going to neighboring cities and New Castle Council meetings to ask for their participation in new READI program.

The Indiana Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative (READI) was launched by the state in order to regionalize areas around the state in order to help fund projects and programs for each region.

The Indiana General Assembly set aside $500 million in state funds “to promote strategic investments that will try to make the State of Indiana a magnet for talent and economic growth.”

Henry County needed $30,000 to participate in the East Central Indiana Regional Partnership (ECIRP) with Blackford, Delaware, Grant, Jay, Randolph and Wayne. Together, the ECIRP counties can ask for up to $50 million for regional projects.

County, County contributions

The Henry County County government put in $9,000. The Henry County Community Foundation put in $5,000, Henry Community Health put in $5,000.

The City of New Castle put in $5,000, The Town of Middletown and Knightstown each put in $3,000 toward Henry County’s total match.

Corey Murphy said, “Thank you to the above for their investment in allowing our countywide community to participate in the READI regional plan creation.”

What happens next?

Murphy explained that each region must come up with a plan and their intent to seek the implementation funding for their region. In order to help the regions achieve their goals, the Indiana EDC will award up to $50 million per region to accelerate the implementation of regional development plans and the programs and projects identified that will help create economic and population growth.

Some things this money can be used for are workforce housing, improving walkability around the region, redevelopment projects and cultural amenities.

In order to achieve this vision, the regions will develop data-driven and come up with actionable and sustainable development plans that outline strategies focused on improving the quality of place, quality of life and quality of opportunity within their communities.

Murphy said there will be a call for READI projects issued in the next week or so.

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