Town of Hardwick receives $3 million grant for Yellow Barn Accelerator Project

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HARDWICK — Hardwick’s Town Manager has signed a Financial Award Letter from the Economic Development Administration (EDA) for a $3 million investment in the Hardwick Yellow Barn Accelerator Project.

The EDA investment is funded under its Public Works Program of the Public Works and Economic Development Act of 1965.

The award is the latest development in a three-year effort to establish a best-in-class production space for new and expanding businesses.

The project, called “Yellow Barn” for short, will consist of a new multi-purpose accelerator alongside adaptive reuse of the historic yellow barn, which is already an iconic presence along with the Route 15 gateway to downtown Hardwick.

The Town of Hardwick owns Yellow Barn.

The Center for an Agricultural Economy (CAE) will provide operational oversight.

Yellow Barn will have two anchor tenants:

The Cellars at Jasper Hill, who will establish a cheese aging facility in the new structure, and Cabot, who will open a retail store in the historic Yellow Barn.

The unique public-private partnership is already supported by a mix of state, federal, and private grants and loans, including a $900,000 grant from the Vermont Community Development Program, a $2.1 million loan from Vermont Economic Development Authority, and a $80,000 grant from the Preservation Trust of Vermont.

“Today’s signing occurred against a backdrop of unprecedented disruption and uncertainty caused by the COVID 19 pandemic,” noted Town Manager Shaun Fielder. “Yet this signing also signals our commitment to keeping this project, as originally envisioned, on target as it will be a critical component in our region’s economic recovery.”