County of Grande Prairie Certified Site Program

Submitted ByCounty of Grande Prairie

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The Project

The County of Grande Prairie was facing significant barriers to attracting new investment. A lack of awareness of opportunities and shovel-ready sites was impacting the region’s ability to really pursue new investments.  Building on the recommendations of the County’s Industrial Investment Attraction Strategy completed in 2022 this project is the completion of a premier “certified” site program for the County of Grande Prairie.

Utilizing best practices and third-party service providers, the County established a comprehensive and competitive certified site program and marketing platform which has improved the ability of local landowners and developers to bring shovel-ready sites to market and provide a marketing platform to promote these sites to the specific target markets. Completing the site inventory and “certified” site program supports an expedited planning approvals process by employing creative solutions to increase certainty and accelerate approvals. This effort is designed to give the County a competitive advantage over other communities with which it might compete over investment and economic development.

The County of Grande Prairie’s Certified Industrial Site Program is designed to be a region-wide program that provides a certified site designation to properties that fulfill predetermined program requirements. The factors chosen were validated with input from local real estate professionals and economic development staff and built off the success of other select state and provincial-certified site programs particularly the approach used by the Province of Ontario.

The newly created web-based marketing platform hosted on our website supports all County and region-led investment attraction initiatives.

The certified site program has dramatically expanded the economic development team’s ability to support our local developers and landowners by improving their investment readiness and our proactive marketing activities. By developing a branded certified site program, our team has been able to provide a scalable platform for promoting sites throughout the region and support fast-tracking new investments, modernizing our investment attraction activities.

This project was supported by a Grant from the Northern Regional Economic Development stream from the Province of Alberta.

How do we keep the site/media current and up to date?

Utilizing the certified site tracking and weighting system developed by our consultants LEM Group, our internal economic development and planning teams can easily track sites and update our website as locations are sold and new sites become certified. We have limited the number of sites we certify and promote to support the ease of continued updating, the project is not designed to promote all the sites in the County just those that meet our criteria for investment readiness.