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Economic Development

This page was last reviewed on July 21, 2017.

In early 2016 the Village of Cumberland withdrew from the Economic Development Service of the Comox Valley Regional District. In the fall of 2016 the Village explored new models of providing economic development services.

A final recommendation to move forward with an in-house distributed model of economic development was made, as this model best supports community values, taking into account other considerations such as feasibility and cost. The final report includes an implementation plan to move the project forward. View the November 2016 final report.

The Village is currently working on building the capacity of the community through forward-looking, innovative strategies to create the foundation for further community economic development.

In order to help this happen the Village is working towards the creation of an Economic Development Strategy, that builds on the three primary sources of economic opportunities as identified in the official community plan, being:

  1. Commercial Development: This development will augment existing bed and breakfasts, restaurants, guide services, small retail, art galleries, live theater and microbreweries and micro-distilleries to yield more tax income.
  2. Eco-tourism: Cumberland is actively developing as a major ‘destination’ for outdoor recreation, heritage, arts and culture. Activities, such as mountain biking, hiking, non-motorized boating, fishing, and birding can be nurtured to expand economic development opportunities. Regional opportunities such as eco-sensitive resort complexes, and sporting and equipment supply services can also be examined for primary economic benefits and spin-offs. Cumberland is at a critical point in its development as a ‘destination’ for outdoor recreation, heritage, arts, and culture.
  3. Industrial Development: This development includes industries that are aimed at mainstreaming environmental, climate, and social considerations into the operations of enterprises.

Cumberland’s economic objectives in its official community plan (Part C Land Use Policy Direction) include:

  • Create a welcoming and supportive business environment within the Village.
  • Support local business in marketing of the Village to tourists and other visitors.
  • Encourage appropriate business investment for growth and services within the Historic Village Commercial Core and land uses adjacent to Highway 19 and Comox Valley Parkway.
  • Build upon both the arts and natural environment as major sources of new economic opportunities for the Village.
  • Expand, preserve and promote the Village’s working forest land, environmentally sensitive areas, and natural amenities as integral part of the Village’s economy.
  • Accommodate environmentally-friendly technologies and innovative industrial activities in appropriate areas, where sufficient infrastructure exists, or where the extension of existing infrastructure is economically viable without creating an infrastructure burden for existing ratepayers for the term of the land use.
  • Provide for and encourage the restoration and adaptive reuse of historic and other buildings as viable “live up, work down” mixed use development.
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