Oct. 19, 2009
ST. ANDREWS (CNB) - The provincial and federal governments have invested in the development of a 1,858-sq-metre (20,000-sq.-ft.) discovery centre to replace the existing aquarium at the Huntsman Marine Science Centre in St. Andrews.
Premier Shawn Graham and Minister of Veterans Affairs Greg Thompson have each announced commitments of $2.5 million for the science centre to develop the discovery centre on its lower campus property. They made the announcement on Friday, Oct. 16
"The Province of New Brunswick is proud to be a major partner in this important project for St. Andrews and Charlotte County," said Graham. "Investing in this important tourism and educational project will create another opportunity for residents and visitors to experience."
The new discovery centre will replace the existing aquarium complex, and will include a self-guided orientation centre, a multiplex aquarium facility, a conference and lecture centre with live video-conference capabilities, and a renewable energy exhibit.
"Our government's first priority in these difficult economic times is to invest in projects that will make a real difference both today and for many years to come," said Thompson. "Our commitment to invest more than $2.5 million in this important project at the Huntsman Marine Science Centre is a perfect example of how we can help to provide important construction jobs, increase full-time permanent employment opportunities at the facility, and promote future economic activity in the region by attracting greater numbers of tourists to the area year-round."
Thompson attended on behalf of Keith Ashfield, minister of state for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA).
"We are extremely pleased with the commitment of the federal and provincial governments to make the development of the new discovery centre a reality," said Bill Robertson, executive director of the Huntsman Marine Science Centre. "This completes the final phase of our $20-million capital renewal campaign. The Huntsman Marine Science Centre celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2009, and with this funding announcement we look forward to continued growth and success over the next 40 years."
The new centre will house renewed teaching and lecturing facilities, and will become a four-season tourist destination that complements other initiatives currently underway in the Charlotte County area. The discovery centre will offer improved education programs to elementary school students in New Brunswick, and improve research capabilities for universities and research organizations that partner with the Huntsman Marine Science Centre.
The Government of Canada, through ACOA, is contributing $2.5 million toward the project through the Community Adjustment Fund (CAF). Canada's Economic Action Plan provided a total of $1 billion over two years for CAF to support initiatives which help create and maintain jobs in communities affected by the economic downturn. Atlantic Canada's allocation of $100 million under CAF is administered by ACOA.
The Province of New Brunswick is providing a $2.5-million non-repayable contribution, and the Huntsman Marine Science Centre is putting $3 million toward its project, which is valued at more than $8 million.
MEDIA CONTACTS: Bruce Macfarlane, corporate secretary, Regional Development Corporation, 506-444-4606; Erin Filliter, director of communications, Office of the Minister of State (ACOA), 613-941-7241; Peta Fussell, senior communications officer, ACOA New Brunswick, 506-452-3304.