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Dorchester, East Boston groups receive grant money to support community revitalization

Posted by Patrick Rosso  November 15, 2013 02:55 PM

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(Image courtesy Citizens Bank)


The recipients of the Citizens Bank’s MA Growing Communities grant.


The Dorchester Bay Economic Development Corporation, East Boston Main Streets, the Urban Farming Institute, and the Sportsman’s Tennis and Enrichment Center were all the recent recipients of the Citizens Bank’s MA Growing Communities grant.

The $125,000 in grant money will be split between the four organizations to help support the Dorchester and East Boston communities, according to a release from Citizens Bank.

Dorchester Bay will use $30,000 of the grant to support its work to redevelop the Pearl Meats factory on Quincy Street. The project, part of a larger development push in the neighborhood, will eventually convert the 2-acre facility into the Bornstein & Pearl Food Production Small Business Incubator, a $13.5-million project that will provide space for up to 25 small businesses.

The Blue Hill Avenue-based Sportsman’s Tennis and Enrichment Center will use $15,000 of the grant to support a series of walkability audits aimed at making the neighborhood more accessible and easier to navigate.

The Urban Farming Institute will use $30,000 of the grant to recruit 15 local participants for its training workshops, which help develop the next crop of urban farmers. The money will also support the organization’s efforts to convert a series of city parcels into farm land and move them into a land trust.

East Boston Main Streets will use $50,000 of the grant money to establish a Small Business Institute, aimed at providing assistance to small businesses in the neighborhood.

“The Growing Communities initiative aims to support and promote neighborhood-based programs that have a significant impact on communities across Massachusetts,” Jerry Sargent, president of Citizens Bank and RBS Citizens, Massachusetts, said in a statement. “We believe these grants will help enhance the overall well-being of East Boston and Dorchester, support small businesses and spur additional investments in these communities.”

First launched in 2010 in Ohio, the Growing Communities program was recently expanded to include six states with the mission of strengthening communities.

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Email Patrick D. Rosso, patrick.d.rosso@gmail.com. Follow him @PDRosso, or friend him on Facebook.

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