Governor Bob McDonnell announced this morning that Ashland has earned an official Virginia Main Street Designation! Get ready for a host of economic and cultural benefits to come! We are one of only 26 Virginia communities to receive a VMS designation, and Fredericksburg was the only other municipality to receive the award in this latest round of applications.
Ashland Main Street Executive Director Tom Wulf said, "We are absolutely thrilled to have earned this honor, and we certainly believe the Center of the Universe deserves it. This was truly a team effort. President Nancy Cozart and I extend our thanks to our hardworking Main Street Board, Town Manager Charles Hartgrove, Economic Development Coordinator Alexis Thompson, Mayor Faye Prichard and Town Council, and the many community leaders who wrote letters of support for our VMS Designation application. We also want to thank our previous Main Street boards for building the foundation upon which we stand today. Our designation was the result of 20 years worth of Main Street leadership in Ashland, and we are being rewarded today because of their past efforts."
Virginia Main Street Program Coordinator Brad Belo said "The Ashland Main Street Association clearly had the organizational strength and community support that we require for awarding a Virginia Main Street Designation. You have made great progress since the last (2011) application... congratulations!" Brad Belo will be visiting Ashland next week to meet with Main Street and the Town to explain what resources are now available to us.
Here is the official press release from the governor's office this morning:
Commonwealth of Virginia
Office of Governor Bob McDonnell
Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development
Governor McDonnell Announces Designation of Two New Virginia Main Street Communities
~Preservation-based economic development tools will support entrepreneurship and job creation in Ashland and Fredericksburg~
RICHMONDâ€”Governor Bob McDonnell announced today the designation of two new Virginia Main Street communities. Adding Ashland and Fredericksburg to the network of downtown revitalization efforts brings the total number of designated Virginia Main Street communities to 26.
â€œI am pleased to welcome these communities to the Virginia Main Street program,â€ said Governor McDonnell. â€œBy supporting local economic revitalization strategies, leveraging private investment, and utilizing Main Street program resources these communities can spark entrepreneurship and job creation in their historic downtowns.â€
Each community brings a unique set of historic assets and strategic focus to its revitalization work. Ashland is strengthening ties with its local college and building on the local quality of life of a historic railroad town. Downtown Fredericksburgâ€™s remarkable historic architectural heritage and location provide significant opportunities for increased private investment and business development.
Virginia Main Street will provide technical assistance, training, and expert resources to assist the communities with aligning resources and achieving these goals. Virginia Main Street, a program of the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development, uses the National Main Street Four Point ApproachÂ® model to encourage private investment and job creation in Virginiaâ€™s downtowns. The program helps communities develop strategies that create economic growth and pride in their downtown areas.
The Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) accepts applications for new Main Street designations every three to five years. Communities seeking Main Street designations must have populations of 75,000 or less and be committed to a community-based approach that leverages volunteer investments.
For more information about the Virginia Main Street program, visitwww.dhcd.virginia.gov/mainstreet Contact information for each of the newly designated communities is provided below.