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EDITORIAL: Promising news on Pictou County’s horizon

You can’t overestimate the importance of attracting new business players to Pictou County – or any area for that matter. The Town of Stellarton delivered some fantastic news this week about a coming boost to its burgeoning Albion Business Park.

Town council’s Monday meeting included discussion about the new prospects on the commercial front, with the announcement of five lots in the business park having been sold, a deal representing just over $1.1 million in land sales for the town.

Adding to the overall picture of what’s coming, the purchase is being made by a commercial property development company, Alberta-based Endurance Equities Corp. The legwork of the corporation, as described by VP Matt Stokes, will be to create a leasing program and marketing the sites to interested parties. More details about the new players on the block will be available as deals are inked.

It’s not hard to think back a number of years when, driving by this area on the Trans-Canada Highway, the sight was vacant fields. It’s been growing gradually, with many of the businesses that have sprung up there having relocated from elsewhere in Pictou County. Residents in the area will look forward to some brand-new entities.

This latest development is great for Stellarton, as for any municipality with land to sell and looking to grow its tax base. That comes on the heels of the announcement earlier this month by Zenabis that its cannabis production plant will soon be up and running, representing about 50 entirely new jobs on the horizon, and up to 200 jobs as the business develops. Things are definitely headed in the right direction.

This latest at the Albion Business Park is one more piece of encouraging economic news for Pictou County in general. The area has witnessed some disappointing losses in the past decade on the manufacturing and retail front. That puts a strong focus on the question of what can be done to replace those jobs.

Just down the road, at the recently expanded East River Business Park owned by the Town of New Glasgow and Municipality of the County of Pictou, we have more potential for growth, and those tasked with attracting businesses say work is ongoing to find buyers and recently negotiations were underway with interested parties.

On the whole, it raises cause for optimism. A gradually rebuilding commercial core means more people employed, more economic trade, possibly related spinoff businesses being attracted to the area.

Rather than an outflow of people going elsewhere in the province or the country looking for work, it potentially means a new family locating here, adding to the local economy and the demand for housing and other real estate.

Congratulations and job well done to all who have worked on this over the past number of years. Having tangible results inevitably takes time, but it’s great to see the latest progress.

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