Penticton getting more grey

Penticton is getting older.

An updated study presented to council this week using 2016 census data predicts Penticton’s population will grow from 34,440 in 2016 to 41,770 in 2046.

The fastest growing demographic in the community will be seniors, growing from 29 per cent of the population to almost 37 per cent, a jump of more than 5,600 senior residents.

At the same time, working-age people will decline from 59 per cent in 2016 to 52 per cent in 2046.

The report suggests the city would be “well served” to target economic development and attract new development to the community to counter the grey wave.

During Tuesday’s council meeting, city council received an update from the economic development department, which is working on identifying existing and potential business “clusters” to support.

Those include wine/beer/spirits, value added agriculture, speciality manufacturing, tourism and more.

“This is all towards the goal of making sure the City of Penticton is most effectively deploying its economic development resources in support of industries that are already here,” consultant Hugh McClelland said.

A draft list of business clusters will be taken out to stakeholders in the coming weeks to gather feedback and opinions on how they can be supported.

When the first draft of the study was released last year, city manager Peter Weeber said that resident recruitment strategies are “challenging at best” for most communities, exacerbated in Penticton by high cost of living and lack of major industry jobs.

The city has also formed a new partnership agreement with 15 other community groups including the PIB, Okanagan College, airport and more to figure out ways to bring more business to the community.


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