People in Hazleton and the surrounding community are getting closer to opening the Upper Skeena Recreation Centre thanks to the Rural Dividend Grant.

Stikine MLA Dong Donaldson was at the centre earlier this week to announce the $500,000 in funding.

Donaldson said programs like the Rural Dividend Grant are essential for helping rural communities.

“They will be able to host tournaments, conferences, conventions and bring people from as far away as Smithers and Terrace and maybe even further away from other regions.”

Including Hazleton and the surrounding communities, Donaldson said the centre will serve around 5000 people.

The funding will go towards things like the floors, equipment, and staffing.

“These are there are some of the last items necessary to get the Upper Skeena recreation Center open.”