Town of Halton Hills Economic Development and Tourism Strategy
The Town of Halton Hills is located in the north section of Halton Region and is the gateway to the GTA and North American market, and home to 63,000 residents and a number of leading businesses. Many demographic, technological and economic changes had taken place since the approval of the Town’s previous Economic Development Strategy completed by Mellor Murray Consulting in 2012. The Town was seeking a modern, consolidated, and actionable Economic Development & Tourism Strategy to guide business development and investment attraction for the next 5 years.
In Spring 2019, the Town of Halton Hills retained Mellor Murray Consulting, in association with CBRE’s Tourism & Leisure Group and Amplify Communications, to develop an Economic Development and Tourism Strategy.
The Strategy, adopted by Council in February 2021, was the culmination of over 18 months of research and analysis, stakeholder engagement, priority setting and strategy development. It positions Halton Hills to take advantage of current and future economic opportunities, while also responding to the challenges posed by COVID-19. The strategy included five sub-strategies addressing economic development, tourism, green economy, brownfield development and marketing and communications.
The Economic Development and Tourism Strategy is comprised of 26 Goals and 137 recommended actions. It is a flexible and living document that the Town can utilize to better respond to changing market conditions in the wake of COVID-19 and any other major economic disruptions. The Tourism sub-strategy focuses on 7 goals, 4 of which focus on the tourism business community and growing existing tourism assets in the short-term, as well as developing new and enhanced products and experiences for the longer term, and 2 goals which focus on promoting Halton Hills as a unified destination to out-of-town visitors, equipping residents to be ambassadors for Halton Hills and working with regional partners to increase the reach of tourism messaging.
Rural Oxford Economic Development Corporation Strategic Action Plan
The Rural Oxford Economic Development Corporation, also known as Rural Oxford, represents the five rural townships of Blandford-Blenheim, East Zorra-Tavistock, Norwich, South-West Oxford, and Zorra in Oxford County, Ontario. The region has a total population of 44,560.
Rural Oxford retained Mellor Murray to assist the board to establish a five-year strategic action plan. The assignment included background research and data analysis, comprehensive consultation including a survey, board member interviews, an interim report and a facilitated workshop to identify the strategic priorities and actions, culminating with the strategy document.
The Rural Oxford Strategic Action Plan provides a five-year roadmap, outlining where the organization wants to go, the actions needed to progress towards those goals and how it will determine if it has been successful. The Strategic Plan includes 37 specific actions in three main goal areas: business retention, expansion and attraction; awareness and promotion; and collective strength.
Aileen's understanding of rural economic development issues and opportunities, her ability to relate, listen and lead discussions among board, staff and elected officials were delivered skillfully and effectively. The followup and after care calls to address any outlying questions only further demonstrated her commitment and care for her clients' best interests. We enjoyed a collaborative effort and appreciate the final product - a five-year roadmap with strategies that we have already begun to operationalize for Rural Oxford.