LAURINBURG – The Scotland County Economic Development Corporation held a groundbreaking ceremony on Tuesday for a 50,000 square foot industrial incubator.
Representatives from the North Carolina House of Representatives, Scotland County Commissioners, the City of Laurinburg and the North Carolina Southeast Partnership participated in the event.
Being proactive and preparing for the future, in 2019 SCEDC began the process of seeking grants and bank financing to build this building. Almost 2 years after the initial application, SCEDC is moving forward with the 2n/a of several buildings within Scotland Incubator Park. Although the app started in 2019, this project actually started in 2013 with the construction of the Small Business Innovation Center, which currently houses NC Works and CCL Labels. Chairman Whit Gibson said: “Former council members knew that for our community to thrive, it was necessary and vital to diversify our economic development efforts with entrepreneurial endeavours, retain current industries and create ready-to-use sites. jobs and available buildings. Today we start working on our 2n/a facility that will help attract industry to our community.
Once the building is completed by the 1st quarter of 2024, SCEDC will have a facility that can accommodate industry and give them the speed to get their product to consumers and the ability to expand the facility to 100,000 square feet. The county of Scotland is part of an 18 county partnership and as of the first quarter of 2022 there were only 5 available industry qualified buildings to site in the area.
Mark Ward, Chairman of SCEDC “This building is a collective effort between all levels of government working to improve the county of Scotland. We are grateful for our partnership and financial support with the EDA, North Carolina legislators, County of Scotland, City of Laurinburg, NCSE, and First Bank. The SCEDC has currently received $2 million from the Economic Development Association, $650,000 from the County of Scotland (including appropriations from the 2022-2023 North Carolina budget), $262,000 from the North Carolina Southeast Partnership and First Bank loan funds.
Garland Pierce, NC House Representative for District 48, said, “Scotland County received $2 million from NC lawmakers this budget year, and projects like this are a perfect example of how we (NC legislators) believed that county funding would help our citizens and businesses with the creation of better paying jobs. I look forward to returning to the grand opening when it is complete and announcing an industry that is making investments and creating jobs in our community.
This is the first announcement since the SCEDC added two unelected representatives to the board, Lee Howell and Thomas Ammons.
Lee Howell – “I appreciate any opportunity to serve our community. We (SCEDC) are looking beyond today and planning for the future with this facility. In today’s corporate culture, time is your enemy Customers want the product in their hands today and having a “ready to move in” building will give us an edge over other communities.
Thomas Ammons – “Working in other Southeast counties, I have seen businesses like this successfully attract industries. There are not enough buildings available to meet the needs of the business environment I look forward to other professionals joining our efforts in building speculative buildings in our market.