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New grants aim to create hubs for community activities

September 16, 2022
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WEDC’s new Vibrant Spaces Grant Program to transform underused spaces

MADISON, WI. SEPT. 16, 2022 – Wisconsin communities can apply this fall for grants of up to $50,000 to turn vacant or under-used public spaces into attractive, busy hubs for community activities.

The Vibrant Spaces Grants are a Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) pilot program that allows municipalities to apply for $25,000 to $50,000 grants to assist with local placemaking efforts.

The grant is intended to transform vacant or underused spaces into multi-purpose community gathering space.

“This is a great opportunity for communities of all sizes to get the financial assistance and support they need to make changes that will have a true impact on the vitality of their community,” said Missy Hughes, secretary and CEO of WEDC, the state’s lead economic development organization. “The presence of high-quality public spaces fosters community connections and helps municipalities recruit and retain residents and cultivate a strong labor force.”

Submitted projects will be evaluated based on their ability to create visible and pedestrian-oriented public spaces that attract and accommodate multiple user groups and activities. Successful projects will benefit the local district, nearby businesses and the community as a whole.

Applications are due on Jan. 31 and awards will be made by May 1. No more than 30 grants will be made statewide in this competitive application cycle.

The grant requires a 1:1 funding match, with grant dollars provided on a reimbursement basis, and awarded projects are expected to begin construction in 2023.

For more details on the program or to apply, contact the WEDC regional economic development director for your region, or register for the introductory webinar taking place from noon to 1 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 23.

More information can be found on the Vibrant Spaces page.

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