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WNY awarded nearly $61 million in economic development funding

The state has awarded the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council $60.8 million. The latest round of funding will come in the form of grants and tax breaks to spur growth. The list of projects to be funded includes $1 million for UB to expand its computer and data center on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus and $1 million for a mixed use development, including a two-pad hockey arena, in Lockport.

In Albany, Governor Andrew Cuomo said the Regional Council system he established three years ago is working better every year. Cuomo says the results can be seen in the faces of New Yorkers everywhere.

"Somebody in Buffalo said to me once, 'When it comes to the economy, we've had a bad 50 years.' And they weren't kidding. And [now] Buffalo has a totally different energy about it, a totally different outlook. You literally go to Buffalo now and you see something that generations never saw. You see cranes in the sky," Cuomo said.

The governor said Buffalo is "coming back," citing the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus and the recent announcement that two California clean energy companies are relocating here.

Cuomo says the bottom-up decision making process used by the Regional Councils is difficult because it forces all sides to cooperate and work together on one plan for revitalizing the economy.

The local council's priority project this year included a focus on providing employers with on-demand access to advanced cloud computing resources, modernizing water infrastructure to help industrial businesses improve efficiency, and creating jobs through expanding the region’s manufacturing industry.

Highlights of projects awarded economic development funding include:

  • · $1,000,000 to SUNY Buffalo to expand its high performance computing and data analytics center located at the Buffalo Niagara campus to provide regional industry and organizations with on-demand, immediate access to advanced computing and storage infrastructure.
    · $1,000,000 to the Town of Lockport to revitalize a long vacant commercial shopping center into a new mixed use development, including a planned two-pad hockey arena with retail support services.
    · $1,000,000 to Chautauqua County for modernizing water infrastructure to help industrial businesses improve efficiency.
    · $500,000 to Alfred State College to create a highly energy efficient facility to train students in state-of-the-art sustainable manufacturing techniques.
    · $250,000 to TAM Ceramics to expand manufacturing operations in Niagara Falls.