VCEDA Executive Director/General Counsel Jonathan Belcher, second from right, presents a ceremonial check to Buchanan County Industrial Development Authority Chairman Jay Rife, right, representing grant funds approved for an update to the Southern Gap development master plan and to conduct a feasibility study on the potential for a multi-use expo center. Also on hand for the presentation were, from left, Scotty Wampler, Buchanan County marketing and tourism director; and Brenda Ward, Buchanan County IDA secretary/treasurer.

GRUNDY, VA – SEPTEMBER 3, 2019 — The Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority (VCEDA) closed Tuesday on an up to $88,118.10 grant to the Buchanan County Industrial Development Authority to be used to update the county’s Southern Gap development master plan and to conduct a feasibility study on the potential for a multi-use expo center.

“The Southern Gap development is a 3,153-acre area controlled by the Buchanan County Industrial Development Authority,” said VCEDA Executive Director/General Counsel Jonathan Belcher. “With changes that have occurred on site since site development first started, including the ongoing construction of the new Southern Gap Transportation and Logistics Center, the county maintenance garage, a shell building and more, the site has changed and the county wishes to revisit and update planning for it.”

In 2007, the Buchanan County IDA commissioned a master plan for the site’s overall development. With the plan now more than a decade old and several changes occurring in the meantime, the IDA requested the VCEDA funding to be used to update the master plan and to explore the feasibility of an expo center at Southern Gap.

“The revised master plan will update design convenants and restrictions for our ongoing development sites, explore the feasibility of a multi-use expo center and inform the direction of future development on the industrial site of Southern Gap near ongoing U.S. Route 460 construction,” said Buchanan County IDA Chairman Jay Rife.

About Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority and Southwest Virginia’s e-Region: The Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority, created by the Virginia General Assembly in 1988 to enhance and diversify the region’s economy and help create jobs, markets Southwest Virginia’s e-Region and its focus on electronic information technology, energy, education, emerging technologies, and entrepreneurship. VCEDA is a unique economic development organization that manages funds for economic development projects from a percentage of the coal and natural gas severance taxes paid by coal and natural gas companies that operate in the region. Located in southwestern Virginia, the region includes Buchanan, Dickenson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Tazewell, and Wise counties and the City of Norton. www.vaceda.org  or www.e-Region.org.