Berry Hill grants

RICHMOND—The Southern Virginia Megasite at Berry Hill was one of 11 potential Virginia industrial sites to receive a Virginia Business Ready Site Program development grants, Gov. Ralph Northam announced Thursday.

The $7 million package is a discretionary program develops and characterizes sites to enhance the Commonwealth’s infrastructure and promote its competitive business environment and administered by the Virginia Economic Development Partnership.

The program identifies, assesses, and improves the readiness of potential industrial sites, which must contain a minimum of 100 contiguous, developable acres.

The $1.3 million grant for Berry Hill will allow for the grading of lots one and two, according to Arnold Hendrix, spokesman for the City of Danville.

 The 3,500-acre Berry Hill Mega Industrial Park is is owned by the Danville-Pittsylvania County Regional Industrial Facilities Authority and was rezoned by the Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors in 2011.

“Companies want to invest in the Commonwealth, and this program is critical to making it easier for businesses to do business here,” said Governor Northam. “Virginia has been named the best state in which to do business in for three years, and investments like these are part of the reason why.”

The program has two components: 1) site characterization – to assess and designate a site’s level of development, and 2) site development – to further develop a pool of potential sites across the Commonwealth. Localities can apply for grants to assist with the costs associated with the initial assessment and the development required to upgrade a particular site.

“The Virginia Business Ready Sites Program is a powerful economic development tool that gives localities the resources they need to assess and develop sites for economic development opportunities,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “These projects across the Commonwealth will strengthen Virginia’s business portfolio and our overall competitiveness.”

The Virginia Business Site Ready Program was developed by a team of state, regional, and local stakeholders including the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, railroad representatives, utility representatives, civil engineers, and other government, business, and industry representatives. Grants are considered on a competitive basis and made at the discretion of the Virginia Business Ready Site Program Project Review Committee and the Funding Approval Committee. The most recent round of program funding was highly competitive with 25 applications from communities across Virginia totaling more than $50 million in cumulative funding requests.

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