The City of Port Alberni has received almost $400,000 in provincial funding to revitalize its historic train station.
Heritage BC announced on Monday, Feb. 22 that the City of Port Alberni is one of 68 communities that will be receiving funding from the provincial government to support heritage infrastructure.
The city applied for funding to upgrade the historic train station back in October 2020. The train station, located near the entrance to Harbour Quay, was built in 1911-1912, with additions made in 1950. It received official heritage designation from the federal government in 2011. The building acted as a train station until 2019, when budget concerns put a temporary halt to railway operations.
Although the city has discussed the possibility of leasing the train station and forming some sort of “community hub” in the Harbour Quay area, the building is in need of some seismic upgrades to meet modern codes.
Port Alberni Mayor Sharie Minions posted on social media on Thursday, Feb. 25 that the city will be receiving $390,000 for revitalization of the train station.
“These funds will be used to retrofit the space to prepare it for an array of possible commercial and visitor attractions,” she said. “There is much work to be done to bring this building up to a leasable standard and we are so thrilled to have support from the provincial government to undertake this work.”
She added that plans will be made in collaboration with the city’s heritage commission in order to ensure that the building’s historic aspects are kept at the forefront of planning.
“This building is an incredible asset to our community,” she said. “We look forward to being able to open it up and welcome the public in to enjoy this amazing space.”
The funding is part of B.C.’s Community Economic Recovery Infrastructure Program (CERIP), which was formed to help communities impacted by COVID-19 and support B.C.’s post-pandemic economic recovery.
“Through this funding program, the province not only provided the largest one-time infusion of funds into the heritage sector, but it also recognized the importance and potential of heritage infrastructure and its place in our province’s economic picture,” said Paul Gravett, executive director of Heritage BC, in a press release.