I am a huge cheerleader for the Creative Rural Economy. Diversifying our seasonal agriculture and tourism based economy to include year round, high growth, higher wage opportunities primarily derived from the new economy.
A few weeks ago I along with our local CFDCa High Definition Television distribution company who has a long standing relationship with a local HD production company.
When we first met them they spent 15 minutes pitching us on why they should be in Prince Edward County, then went on to say that they needed help convincing their board of directors, making a solid financial business case, possibly obtaining grants and overcoming connectivity (high speed) issues.
The second meeting at their office indicated that they were poised for a big expansion including exporting globally and that they could either do it in Toronto or Prince Edward County. If they did it in the county connecting to the high speed fibre option pipeline at sizeable capacity would be the key issue of go or no go. If we could help them with that, other issues would likely be less daunting. The net result could be to establish a Creative Rural Economy Centre of Excellence focused on cutting edge digital television production in a rural area.
A third meeting indicated a greater opportunity including a Creative Digital Enterprise, with creative jobs and content development.
The immediate benefit would be 36 to 40 jobs with a payroll of approximately $2.5 million. The much larger impact would be the catalyst to take our emerging digital cluster to a much higher level of critical mass driven by access to technology, high speed fibre optics and a deeper pool of skilled human capital.
Getting “there” will be no easy feat, but we are going to do everything we can to overcome both some of the technology issues and capital issues. Wish us luck that our hard work will pay off.