Bennington and Manchester Awarded $35,000 State Planning Grant

BENNINGTON — The Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) awarded $35,000 to Bennington and Manchester in state Municipal Planning Grant funds to develop a county-wide cultural plan to strengthen, leverage, and coordinate artistic and cultural resources to address community needs and opportunities and be adopted into Town Plans. The two towns successfully competed against 50 municipalities and were chosen as one of 37 projects funded.

According to Bill Colvin, Community and Economic Development Director at the Bennington County Regional Commission, "The development of a cultural plan for all of Bennington County presents a significant opportunity for our region. Not only will it identify the numerous cultural assets inherent to our area and create opportunities to better promote and leverage those assets, it will also further our efforts of regional cooperation, bringing together Northshire and Southshire communities in action act toward a common goal." Bennington and Manchester will have a year and a half to complete this project.

"As Vermont continues to grow its economy, maintain a high quality of life and attract new people and business to the state, Municipal Planning Grants help communities accelerate local solutions, energize downtowns, remove barriers to much-needed housing," said Vermont DHCD Commissioner Katie Buckley.

Awarded annually and administered by DHCD, the Municipal Planning Grant program supports local community revitalization and planning initiatives. Since 1998, the program provided over $12 million to 234 cities and towns across Vermont, bringing people together to adopt useful and relevant municipal plans and implementing those plans through downtown revitalization, updating regulations, improved capital budgeting and innovative projects that to prepare for the challenges they face.

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