Sixteen Bay of Plenty businesses and organisations have put their hands up for a piece of the Government's Provincial Growth Fund.

Through the fund, launched in February, the Government has committed to investing $1 billion per annum over three years in regional economic development.

Rotorua Lakes Council is one organisation which has asked for part of the fund.

It applied for $800,000 from the fund for projects at the Lakefront and Whakarewarewa Forest, strategy group manager Jean-Paul Gaston said.

"[They are] projects that will drive future progress and enhance Rotorua's strengths, with potential to provide economic and community benefits, support iwi investment and return on investment and create local jobs," Gaston said.

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"Bay of Plenty is among the regions identified for early investment from the fund and the Lakefront and forest projects fit the fund's aims and priorities."

Gaston said the council had been encouraged to apply by Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones.

"We have applied for $800,000 from the fund to help us develop the business case and detailed designs that will enable us to then apply for funding to deliver the projects."

Rotorua Mayor Steve Chadwick said the Lakefront and forest projects could not be funded by ratepayers alone and the Provincial Growth Fund would help make them possible.

Enhancement of the forest through new trails, playgrounds and picnic areas, would cost the council $7.5 million over three years. Photo / File
Enhancement of the forest through new trails, playgrounds and picnic areas, would cost the council $7.5 million over three years. Photo / File

"Lifting locals' and visitors' experiences of the lakefront and Redwoods will provide both social and economic benefits, as well as supporting the aspirations of iwi who are key partners in these proposed developments."

Both the projects are included in the council's Long-Term Plan which is due for adoption by June 28.

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If adopted, the redevelopment of the Lakefront would cost the council $20 million across years one to eight of the LTP.

Enhancement of the forest through new trails, playgrounds and picnic areas, would cost the council $7.5m over three years and increase debt by $350,000 per year.

Rotorua Chamber of Commerce chief executive Allison Lawton said the fund was fantastic and she encouraged businesses to apply.

"If successful, it will bring economic development flowing into job growth which is beneficial to the city," she said.

"With respect to the major projects confirmed as part of the LTP, any funding from the Provincial Growth Fund for any of these projects will be highly beneficial to our city."

About the fund:
• $3 billion over three years to be invested into projects in the provinces.
• Projects should lift the productivity potential of a region or regions, contribute jobs and other community benefits.
• Projects should add value by building on what exists and generate public benefit.
• Projects must align with regional priorities and be sustainable beyond the fund's life.