The food sector will use the grant to develop its ability in the Bay of Plenty to produce and process food, as well as develop new value-added products and high value exports.
"This will not be a strategy that just gathers dust on a shelf."
The grant will also be used to develop the region's aquaculture industry. This includes developing a strategy to look at topics including the best species to grow in the region, the best technology to use and working successfully with iwi. An aquaculture forum was held in Tauranga yesterday.
Meanwhile the marine industry will use its share of the grant to examine whether it is feasible to develop a dedicated marine business park, called the Harbour Central Marine Precinct, on a site beside Tauranga's harbour bridge. If the results are positive work could start as early as February next year. An economic study on the Harbour Central Marine Precinct has forecast that it will create 520 jobs and inject more than $100 million into the local economy.
Aquaculture, food and beverage and the Harbour Marine Precinct are three of the key focus areas for the Bay of Plenty's Regional Economic Development Strategy.
"This will not be a strategy that just gathers dust on a shelf. We must now make sure we continue to work together as a region and to build on the momentum that has been created. With continued commitment and passion we will achieve great things," Chairman Cronin said.