A growing economy needs a robust infrastructure to match. There are two kinds of infrastructure investment that are central to regional economic development: transport and digital enablement. We also refer to infrastructure-based projects as tier 3 projects.
We need strong transport networks to keep people and goods moving all over the country.
Road transport investment is already covered well by the National Land Transport Programme and Regional Land Transport Plans. The National Land Transport Fund is the primary funding source for land transport initiatives.
However, if a project can generate additional benefits for regional development, the Provincial Growth Fund can also be involved. We can:
- provide a source of funding for local authorities that face significant difficulty in meeting local share requirements
- bring projects forward where they may not be prioritised under the NLTP but are strategically important to a region
- provide a source of funding for projects that cannot secure funding through the National Land Transport Fund, but which otherwise meet the government’s criteria and objectives for the PGF.
To receive funding for any of these purposes, a project should be closely aligned with the PGF's purpose, more than just the priorities of current programmes of land transport investment.
Projects should also be included in Regional Land Transport Plans and other regional strategic planning documents. This will ensure that:
- integrated regional transport planning continues
- proposed projects fit in with regional transport priorities
- the process for regions to access PGF funding is streamlined
- funding for projects comes from the most appropriate source.
Rail, ports, wharves, and airports
Investment proposals relating to rail, ports, wharves and airports and other non-land transport infrastructure should demonstrate a clear link to our objectives and criteria, and how they will fit with a region’s transport network.
Because regional ports, airports and the rail network are all connected on a national basis, they need to be seen in a wider national context. For example, investments in ports may need complementary investments in roads and rail, and the potential impacts on other regions need to be taken into account.
Digital technologies offer great potential for lifting productivity, and provide opportunities to develop new skills in our regions.
We are particularly interested in digital projects that combine elements of:
- deploying network infrastructure beyond existing broadband investments, to expand the reach and enhance the quality of digital connectivity available in the regions for lifting productivity
- enhancing the skills, platforms, tools and other digital capabilities of local businesses and local people in the regions, recognising the needs of groups that might otherwise not have access to the digital world
- enabling more innovation and digital (knowledge-based) employment by introducing digital technology into existing businesses, or fostering new ICT businesses, with a focus on those which will underpin important sectors in the regions: dairy farms, tourism and construction.
Digital enablement may be the primary focus of your proposal, or could be a component of regional (Tier 1) or sector-based (Tier 2) projects. For example, projects relating to food and beverage, tourism or forestry could include digital initiatives that lift productivity and create opportunities to diversify, grow employment and produce high-value exports.