3/30/2014 9:12:36 AM

The Buffalo News: Buffalo Billion funding released

The Buffalo News

$168 million allocated for 3 projects in region

The money is starting to flow for the state’s high-profile Buffalo Billion economic development initiative.

The state’s main economic development agency, Empire State Development, on Friday gave formal approval to $168 million in funding, nearly 17 percent of the $1 billion in investment Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has pledged for economic development projects in the Buffalo Niagara region.

The biggest chunk of money – $118 million – is going to the clean energy and high-tech manufacturing hub the state plans to create at the former Republic Steel plant in South Buffalo.

The grant approved by the ESD board of directors Friday will provide more than half of the $225 million that the state has pledged to invest in the Buffalo High-Tech Manufacturing and Innovation Hub at Riverbend.

The money will be used to cover initial development costs and help purchase the machinery and equipment that will be installed at the state-owned facility, which officials hope will act as a magnet for high-tech and clean energy companies that want access to the costly yet sophisticated machinery within the hub.

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