Strategic Planning

Thank you to all who could join us for the Sessions of the county-wide Economic Development Strategic Planning process  – your input is much appreciated!


May 2017 Update

A quick summary of our Planning Session 1:

The County-wide Economic Development Strategic Planning Process is underway with 41 engaged representatives from every municipality in Lanark County.  Our first session on May 17 drove the collaborative dialogue, laid the foundation, built capacity, set expectations for the process, and established criteria for accountability and success.  Future meetings will focus on relevant data, stakeholder input, goals and actions, and partnership opportunities.

Next Steps:

Using input from the first session, and key priorities from existing municipal and regional plans, a smaller working group will craft our vision and mission statement to share at the next Session of the Leadership Team.  This next session will ensure the county-wide strategy aligns with lower tier priorities, reflecting how each community will uniquely contribute to the collaborative plan.

June 2017 Update

Planning Session 2:

The County-wide Economic Development Strategic Planning Process is well underway with the Leadership Team wrapping up its Session 2 on June 14.  This “Collect and Analyze” session had 34 engaged participants delving into the demographics and economy overview of Lanark County to consider our local industry sectors, workforce, strengths, and future opportunities in economic development.  Two Working Groups were formed to take the analysis a step further, and to engage the Economic Development Stakeholder Advisory Groups, to provide valuable insights into the next steps in the collaborative planning process.

AUGUST 2017  Update

Planning Session 3:

Another leap forward was taken in the development of a county-wide economic development strategic plan, as the Leadership Team rolled up its sleeves to review and prioritize a long list of action items during its meeting last week, on Aug 17 in Perth.  Actions items came from the collaborative work of the Leadership Team over the past 3 months, analysis by its working groups, interviews with economic development stakeholders, and a review of existing community economic development activities throughout Lanark County.  Facilitators with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs led the Leadership Team through an online voting process, to prioritize the high-level action plans.  The results will guide a working group, to form details around implementation.

Ideas for actions continue to be gathered from stakeholders, the business community and residents.  Thank you to all who have contributed by completing the questionnaire – your responses have provided many thoughtful comments on the strengths, areas to improve, and future opportunities to help Lanark County thrive.

Next steps involve analysis of the stakeholder input, which will be used to further develop the goals and actions in a Lanark County Economic Development Strategic Plan.  Stakeholders will be asked for their input again in October.


The county-wide Economic Development Strategic Planning process is a partnership initiative led by Valley Heartland, Lanark County and OMAFRA; driven by all municipalities in Lanark County and the economic development stakeholders throughout the wider region.

For more information, please contact Stacie Lloyd, Regional Economic Development Officer, by phone at 613-283-7002, ext 106, or by email at


September Update

Media Release:

Team presenting updates and draft actions for economic development plan

The team leading the county-wide economic development strategic planning process is set to update stakeholders throughout the region at a meeting Oct. 5 at 1 p.m. in Lanark County Council chambers.

Valley Heartland Community Futures Development Corporation, Lanark County and the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs are leading the process, and the leadership team is ready to provide a progress report and to see the draft action plans that have come from data analysis, local knowledge and stakeholder input. All economic development stakeholders throughout the region are invited to attend.

“We are well over the halfway mark in the process of developing the strategic plan,” says Stacie Lloyd, Regional Economic Development Officer for Valley Heartland. “The collaborative process began in May, and we are on track to have the plan completed in November with a roadmap to guide activities and help make decisions on future economic development programs and services for the county.”

All local municipalities have been taking part and driving the process through leadership teams and working groups consisting of more than 40 local business owners, retired business owners, hospital board members, politicians, municipal staff, economic developers and entrepreneurs. Broader participation has included interviews and an online questionnaire with community and economic development stakeholders throughout the region. More than 338 questionnaire responses were received from business owners, residents, a few students and more than 30 economic development/service organizations representing an even larger number of respondents.

“In addition to sharing their ideas of what makes Lanark County a great place to live, work and play, stakeholders provided excellent comments on areas to improve and ways to help Lanark County thrive,” Ms. Lloyd said. “The four dedicated working groups have been very engaged throughout the process, with the latest working group established to analyze stakeholder input and develop the evidence-based action plans for the plan.”

Common themes include support for entrepreneurs, business retention and expansion, planning for growth and investment, and foundational community economic development, with many areas of overlap and interconnectedness.

“We appreciate the thoughtful input from all respondents and the municipal leadership teams,” Ms. Lloyd added. “Their feedback has helped to identify strengths to build on, our competitive advantage, areas to focus efforts and common themes.”

“The input and collaboration of everyone involved in this process will go a long way to ensure we have a strong economic development strategic plan,” said Warden Bill Dobson (Montague Reeve). “I encourage stakeholders to come to the meeting on Oct. 5 to further contribute to the draft action plans for a strong economic future for our county.”

Updates on the strategic planning process can be found at For more information, contact Ms. Lloyd at 613-283-7002 ext. 106 or e-mail

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For more information, contact:

Stacie Lloyd, Regional Economic Development Officer

Valley Heartland Community Futures Development Corporation

613-283-7002 ext. 106