An indoor farm that is part of Eastern Charlotte Waterways' initiative to build sustainable systems for rural communities got a shot in the arm when it comes to funding.
The Village Indoor Farm & Living Lab project has received $472,560 in new federal funding through the Green and Inclusive Community Buildings program, which will enable upgrades to HVAC and electrical systems as well as windows, according to a press release on August 10. The indoor farm, on the site of a former grocery store in Blacks Harbour, is set to have its grand opening in October and could grow up to 8,000 pounds of food.
"The most recent funding allows us to complete the renovations," said Briana Cowie, executive director of Eastern Charlotte Waterways. "When we purchased it, it was a storage unit, and it closed as a grocery store in 2018, so it's a complete retrofit."
The non-profit had supplied 17 percent of capital costs, or $175,000, with the municipality of Eastern Charlotte contributing $90,000. The rest came from the green buildings fund, which is meant to support upgrades to community buildings and new builds.
"I encourage all kinds of organizations to apply for this kind of thing because it allows us to create climate-resilient buildings and also allows us as non-profits to lower our operational costs moving forward, and that's huge," Cowie said.
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