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May 31, 2024

Grey County unveils completion of Sydenham Campus with launch of state-of-the-art makerspace

Sydenham Campus makerspace ribbon-cutting event

On Thursday, May 30, Grey County proudly celebrated the official grand opening of the Sydenham Campus in Owen Sound with a special ribbon-cutting event and a public open house showcasing the 45,000 sq. ft. regional skills training, trades and innovation centre.

A pivotal component of this milestone is the unveiling of the eagerly anticipated 8,000 sq. ft. makerspace, a dynamic addition equipped with eight dedicated fabrication zones catering to woodwork, metalwork, clean lab environments, digital technology, and marketing. The membership-driven makerspace supports two key functions for entrepreneurship and industry through prototyping and training. More than 150 machines and state-of-the-art equipment are available in the space. Grey Bruce Makers Inc. helped design and build the makerspace before taking over operations in 2024. The not-for-profit group is comprised of experts from across the province.

“Today, the Sydenham Campus is actively realizing its vision and potential,” proclaimed Grey County Warden Brian Milne during the ribbon-cutting event. “This hub is bringing together the right mix of tenants, entrepreneurs and workers. It has become an ecosystem where like-minded individuals, organizations and businesses come together to innovate and grow.”

The Sydenham Campus was purchased by Grey County in 2018 with an ambitious vision of developing a regional hub. The facility has seen tremendous growth in the past five years and has already supported crucial workforce development, entrepreneurship, and innovation in the area.

In addition to County funding, the Sydenham Campus has benefited from the generous support of both the federal and provincial governments, and the private sector:

  • More than $1 million was invested by the Government of Canada through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) to support Catapult Grey Bruce and the makerspace.
  • The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs invested more than $100,000 in the facility and equipment.
  • Private sector investors have contributed more than $100,000 to support entrepreneurship.

"The Sydenham Campus in the County of Grey is helping SMEs and entrepreneurs as they develop STEM skills, create new technologies and commercialize products in this new state-of-the-art makerspace. The Government of Canada is pleased to invest in important projects like the Sydenham Campus as they support the growth and success of entrepreneurs in Grey County and its surrounding rural communities,” said the Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario).

“The completion of the Sydenham Campus with the remarkable new makerspace, is a wonderful example of an innovative project that our government is proud to support through the Rural Economic Development Program,” said Lisa Thompson, Ontario Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “This project will undoubtedly help drive economic development and entrepreneurship throughout Grey County.”

Grey County is thankful for all of the support received.

“We’re grateful for the support and trust both the upper levels of government have shown with their investments, and seeing private sector investors eager to support the campus confirms our belief that this hub is a true asset to the community and our regional economy,” added Warden Milne.

Grey County’s Director of Economic Development, Tourism and Culture, Savanna Myers, echoed the Warden’s comments and thanked County Council for their strategic vision.

“Grey County Council has shown strategic leadership by making investments in the Sydenham Campus that are driving workforce development and our economy,” said Myers. “The campus provides employees and businesses with the skills and advantages they need to succeed in a rapidly changing world.”

Director Myers also highlighted the important role partners play in the success of the campus.

“We’re fortunate to have strong partners already supporting the campus. It’s important to have tenants who share our vision and support economic growth,” said Myers.

Current partners and tenants of the Sydenham Campus include Georgian College, Grey Bruce Makers Inc., the Business Enterprise Centre, Catapult Grey Bruce, the Grey County Early Learning Hub, Viola Jean’s Daycare, STEMVOX, and Reading Rescue.

More information about the Sydenham Campus can be found on the Grey County website at www.grey.ca/Sydenham-Campus.

Quick facts since 2021:

  • 500+ businesses have been directly received one-on-one support
  • 340+ businesses have started, expanded or been purchased
  • 250+ jobs have been created

 


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