Tuesday, October 4, 2022

First-ever Economic Development Strategic Plan drafted in Leland

From microbreweries to a high-tech hemp production facility, Leland's Economic Development Committee presents big ideas in its draft of the town's first Strategic Plan for Economic Development.

The Leland Economic and Development Committee has created a draft of the town's first-ever Strategic Plan for Economic Development. (Port City Daily photo/Johanna Ferebee)
The Leland Economic and Development Committee has created a draft of the town’s first-ever Strategic Plan for Economic Development. (Port City Daily photo/Johanna Ferebee)

LELAND — Leland’s Economic Development Committee recently drafted the town’s first Strategic Plan for Economic Development.

After seven months and 13 workshops, the committee presents new ideas in the draft to help the town focus on strategic initiatives to spur economic development.

Related: Leland talks complexities of expanding land-use control beyond town limits

As a draft, the plan is subject to change pending further changes made by the committee and Town Council, according to Leland’s economic and community development director.

In the draft plan, the Leland Economic Development Committee (LEDC) suggests the town tap into its already-thriving retirement community. It presents the option of creating an investor’s club, in which retirees could pool financial resources to tap into Leland’s economic Opportunity Zones.

Continued support of the Leland Innovation Park, Inc. is also included in the draft plan. The non-profit’s current goal includes rebranding the Leland Industrial Park. Though nearly all park property is located outside the town’s limits, Leland’s draft 2019 Strategic Plan for Economic Development requests voluntary annexations within the park to be encouraged and incentivized.

Industrial properties in the park present an opportunity for the town, which has limited industrial development opportunities elsewhere, according to the draft plan.

The LEDC suggests increasing efforts to create a home for agricultural businesses in close proximity to the Port of Wilmington. In April, the LEDC reached out to the port’s management to see if the town could coordinate future opportunities. Leland could choose to investigate hosting a cold storage facility in town to aide in the port’s growth efforts.

Also, a high-tech hemp production facility in town could serve as an agriculture-adjacent tech industry option, according to the plan.

View Leland’s draft 2019 Strategic Plan for Economic Development.


Send tips and comments to Johanna Ferebee at johanna@localvoicemedia.com

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