The province is helping to kick-start a five-year plan to increase development opportunities in the Annapolis-Digby region. The Department of Economic and Rural Development is committing $30,000 towards the five-year Transition to Prosperity project, which includes revitalizing the Annapolis Royal waterfront with a wharf and boardwalk. The strategy, directed by the Annapolis Digby Economic Development Agency, will expand on a two-year provincial commitment of more than $124,000 to develop the waterfront plan. “This is a community-led initiative that will make the most of regional assets, grow the local economy and stimulate tourism and other sectors,” said Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations Ramona Jennex, on behalf of Minister of Economic and Rural Development Percy Paris. “The development strategy and investment in the waterfront will stimulate job creation and help attract investment to the region.” Annapolis Digby Economic Development Agency managing director Mike Gushue says the five-year plan is an innovative approach. “By developing a five-year investment strategy, positioning the Annapolis Digby region for future economic growth,” Mr. Gushue. “We will look to sectors that are in a growth mode, develop business cases that show the most potential and present them to qualified investors.” The Annapolis Royal Wharf Association is a key proponent of the waterfront development project. “We have maintained the wharf for the last eight years via an agreement with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans,” said Adrian Nette, president of the association. “We believe the wharf will realize its full economic potential with a 75-foot extension and floating dock. “This will allow boats to tie up to the wharf and create a number of economic opportunities along the waterfront.” In 2008-09, the Department of Economic and Rural Development, through Community Development Funds, committed more than $2.5 million to projects across the province. The funding is combined with more than $11 million from other partners to help build strong communities in Nova Scotia.