Preservation Trust of Vermont
PTV Awards Economic Development Grants to Four Vermont Communities

Efforts to use historic places to revitalize communities and provide workforce development in Canaan, Bradford, Hardwick, and Bridgewater, Vermont will get a boost thanks to grants awarded this month by the Preservation Trust of Vermont (PTV). The Trust's Interim President, Liz Gamache notes, "At this time of the health and economic crisis due to the Coronavirus pandemic, this funding is more important than ever because it will support efforts to rebuild and creatively move local, rural economies forward in the future."  

These grants are made possible by a $1 million award from the Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC) to the Preservation Trust of Vermont, along with the New Hampshire Preservation Alliance, Maine Preservation and the Preservation League of New York State. Through an innovative collaboration, these four organizations have evenly split the award to provide grants to fifteen projects in four states. 

Senator Patrick Leahy and Marcelle Leahy in Putney_ VT 2010.
Senator Patrick Leahy and Marcelle Leahy in Putney VT following the fire at the Putney General Store 2010.
"By investing in their historic structures these communities are creating spaces that will bring a brighter economic future to rural Vermont and New England. Their creative reuse for co-working, job training and value-added agriculture offers a model for other communities searching for strategies to revitalize their local economies," said U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee.  The funding for this award comes from a $4 million set aside to focus on helping communities reviving their forest-based economies.  Leahy created the set aside within the Northern Border Regional Commission's annual funding in 2018.

Workforce Development in Canaan, Vermont
The Canaan (VT) School District will receive $100,000 to create a workforce development program at the 1870 Judge Ripley House and Carriage Barn in Colebrook, NH where students will be trained in hands-on carpentry, historic building renovation, and contractor-related business skills.  The New Hampshire Preservation Alliance is a co-sponsor of this initiative.  Read More...

Visitor Destination in Hardwick, Vermont
Town of Hardwick will receive $80,000 to revitalize the iconic Yellow Barn at the gateway to the community and create a retail outlet for Cabot Creamery and a visitor destination showcasing the region's cheesemakers. The adaptive reuse of the historic barn is part of a larger undertaking to build a new cheesemaking facility for Jasper Hill. Read More...
Community Center in Bridgewater, Vermont
The Bridgewater Area Community Foundation will receive $80,000 to transform the historic 1914 Bridgewater Village School into a vibrant community center that will house a  much-needed child-care center as well as many programs and classes for seniors and other community members. Read More...

Co-working Space in Bradford, Vermont
The Space on Main, Inc. will receive $25,000 to fully equip their co-working facility in Bradford. The historic former Five and Dime on Bradford's Main Street has been adaptively re-used and has been serving the community and region as a center for co-working supporting entrepreneurs, remote workers and self-employed businesspeople as well as a venue for classes and gathering. Read More...

The four Vermont projects will strengthen the communities they serve as well as their economies that are suffering from the decline of the forest products industry. These grants support workforce development, job training in preservation renovation, childcare and senior centers, community-supported enterprises, and visitor destinations. All projects are in historic locations including a former school, an historic residence, an old five-and-dime store, and an iconic barn.

"These grants will enable local organizations to promote job development in historically significant structures, creating opportunities for growth and creativity in our rural communities. Now, more than ever, federal programs like the NBRC are needed to spur the community-based development that will help our state recover from the economic devastation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic," said Congressman Peter Welch.
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Preservation Trust of Vermont
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