New York’s governor Kathy Hochul has announced that the city’s Garment District is to be the recipient of 4.5 million dollars in funding after it came out on top as one of the regional winners in the first round of NY Forward.
The state programme looks to support the equitable recovery of New York communities, providing two to three awards that look to back economic developments and revitalisation plans in the region.
Each participating community is required to develop a strategic investment plan, with implementable projects that can be backed by the Department of State.
For the Garment District, which is located in Manhattan, this will mean building on the area’s history as a manufacturing hub and centre for commerce, elements that were heavily impacted by the effects of the pandemic.
Through its plan, the district is hoping to transform into a 24/7 neighbourhood with increased economic opportunities, engaging public spaces and improved quality of life for businesses, tourists and residents.
In a release, representative Jerrold Nadler said the funding would help jumpstart the transformation of the area as it reaches “an inflection point in history”.
Nadler continued: “The Garment District remains home to many of the world's most renowned fashion designers, and its centralised location in Midtown Manhattan has opened doors for new economic opportunities beyond the apparel industry.”
New York invests in its fashion industry
The district will now begin outlining a Strategic Investment Plan for revitalisation, which will be led by a local planning committee made up of municipal representatives, community leaders and other stakeholders.
Through the plan, local assets and opportunities will be assessed in order to identify projects that align with the community’s vision. Funding will then be allocated to selected projects in the plan.
The move follows a number of investments and initiatives that have already gone into New York’s local manufacturing and textile industry, made last year as a way to build up the sector.
In September, Hochul announced 10 million dollars would be injected into the creation of a Fashion Innovation Centre, set to cater to local crop production for fibre and the development of technologies.
Later in the year, the governor also signed in a new legislation, the ‘New York Textile Act’, which aims to support the state’s textile manufacturing industry through the use of economic development programmes.
"We are spooling together strong investments in textiles grown and manufactured in New York, helping ensure our businesses remain strong and innovative," Hochul said in a release at the time.
She continued: "I am proud to sign this legislation, which will support New York farmers and lay the foundation for expanding the burgeoning textile industries that call this state home, helping spur economic growth for decades to come."