Southport Aerospace showcased an open house for its Development Readiness Strategy plan. Director of Business Development Deanna Talbot says they revealed the plans they've worked on over the last 10 months.

"We showed how we can exploit the land opportunities here at Southport in partnership with our consultants. They've done a lot of research on economic strategy. We had stakeholder engagement meetings to feel out what everyone else has as a perception of Southport and what opportunities and partnerships can be created. All this work has now come together and this was the big reveal of the study."

Deanna TalbotDeanna Talbot

She explains the plan is complete and the next phase is its implementation over the next few months and years. Talbot says they're very much excited to take those recommendations and bring them to life.

Michelle Richard is the principal and owner of M. Richard & Associates. She says they created the strategy to facilitate all of the potential at Southport. 

"We were asked to bring the ingredients to the table to enable it to maximize the opportunities. Southport has amazing bones. One of the things that lots of communities don't have is a good structure. There's already a really good town structure here that can be added onto very efficiently, it's a very pretty community. Of course, it's connected to a major airport."

Michelle RichardMichelle Richard

She notes one of the things about which they're thrilled is that Southport is aligned with the Province in terms of trade priority and looking at how to maximize the movement of goods and services. Richard says the community was made for that. 

Portage la Prairie Mayor Sharilyn Knox was excited to see the growth in Southport. 

Mayor Sharilyn Knox and Eve O'LearyMayor Sharilyn Knox and Eve O'Leary

"I think we only move forward when we have good plans and you can see here today that Southport is working on bringing that to fruition. What can I say? It's great to see the support and the interest out here and very grateful to see that the Province is invested with Minister Moses showing up for this important open house."

Director of Economic Development for the region of Portage la Prairie, Eve O'Leary. 

"Southport is such a huge asset in our region and we're so excited that they're taking proactive measures to make a Development Readiness Strategy to make our region even better. I'm so super-excited from an economic development point of view."

Michelle Richard and Minister Jamie Moses Michelle Richard and Minister Jamie Moses 

Manitoba Minister of Economic Development Jamie Moses was present and added, "It's an exciting opportunity for economic development, for growth for the Portage and region, and it's done in partnership. That's what I'm excited about."