Amherst commits to joining REN 4

Enterprise networks to replace regional development authorities

Darrell Cole
Published on March 27, 2014
Amherst is the first Cumberland County municipality to commit to the new enterprise network. REN 4 will replace regional development authorities in Cumberaland, Colchester and East Hants.

Amherst is the first Cumberland County municipality to commit to the new enterprise network.

AMHERST – Amherst has decided it will join the Regional Enterprise Network for northern Nova Scotia.

Amherst will be part of REN 4 that includes all of Cumberland and Colchester counties as well as East Hants.

“We, like other municipalities in Nova Scotia, have been struggling for months assessing the costs and benefits of participating in the REN,” Mayor Robert Small said.

Small said the town recently came to the conclusion that its participation in the REN is critical to the economy of Amherst, the region and the province. This position, he said, is consistent with council’s priorities with respect to economic development and is consistent with the goals set out in the recently released Nova Scotia Commission on Building Our New Economy.

“Negotiations with other units in the REN 4 and with Nova Scotia Economic and Rural Development will continue but we’ve decided that we’re going to show some leadership on this file,” the mayor said. “Although we’ve discussed an in-kind arrangement we’re now committing to funding our participation on a direct funding basis so that we can retain some economic development capacity in house to deal with local issues and continue our memorandum of understanding with the Municipality of Cumberland.”

While the REN has yet to be formed, Small said, the town wants to make it clear that it will be in “and in with direct funding. We hope this will encourage others to join us and just get on with this.”

Council has directed CAO Greg Herrett to communicate the town’s position to the department and to potential partners in the REN 4 area.