Northampton receives grant

Published 4:22 pm Friday, June 28, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

JACKSON – The Golden LEAF Foundation announced on June 13 the recipients of the latest round of grant funding throughout the state, totaling over $14 million. Northampton County was among those selected to receive a portion of those funds.

Northampton’s grant award, which totals $49,200, is designated for use at the Northampton County Commerce Park.

The county applied for the funding through Golden LEAF’s Site Program to seek funding for due diligence projects. Those projects can include environmental assessments, archeological analyses, mapping, and more conducted by third-party professionals. Completing due diligence projects shows that a site is ready for industrial development.

According to Golden LEAF, these funds cannot be used for grant administration or acquisition of real property.

Northampton County Economic Development Director Derrick Bennett said the county applied for the grant in March.

“The County Manager [Julian Phillips] and myself have placed a strong emphasis on attracting businesses to bring well-paying jobs to the county, which will further spur economic growth,” Bennett explained.

“The funds will be used to complete the necessary site analyses for future industrial business development,” he continued.

The county’s Commerce Park is more than 500 acres located off of Lebanon Church Road in Garysburg between exits 176 and 180 on I-95.

“Many companies seek for locations with a close proximity to interstate travel which is why we selected this site,” Bennett stated.

When asked if there was a specific project coming to the county, Bennett said no.

Golden LEAF (which stands for Long-Term Economic Advancement Foundation) was created in 1999 as a part of a settlement with cigarette manufacturers. The organization used the payments from those companies to create an endowment which is dedicated to building economic development across the state, particularly in rural, economically-distressed, and tobacco-dependent communities.

Since its inception, Golden LEAF has funded more than 2,000 projects totaling $1.3 billion.