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Grey County celebrates opening of Sydenham Campus

The Sydenham Campus was purchased by Grey County in 2018 with an ambitious vision of developing a regional hub
From left: Taylor Corfield (Campus Manager, Grey County), Steve Furness (Manager of Economic Development and Tourism, Grey County), Scott Greig (Grey County councillor), Dane Nielsen (Grey County councillor), Dave Shorey (Executive Director, Georgian College Owen Sound Campus), Kim Wingrove (CAO, Grey County), Brian Milne (Grey County Warden), Andrea Matrosovs (Grey County councillor), Terry McKay (Grey County councillor), Courtney Miller (Business Enterprise Centre Manager, Grey County), Savana Myers (Director of Economic Development, Tourism and Culture, Grey County), Fred Varkaris (Dean, Georgian College Owen Sound Campus).

On May 30, Grey County celebrated the official grand opening of the Sydenham Campus in Owen Sound with a special ribbon-cutting event and a public open house showcasing the 45,000 square regional skills training, trades and innovation centre.

A pivotal component of this milestone is the unveiling of the 8,000 square foot makerspace, an addition equipped with eight dedicated fabrication zones catering to woodwork, metalwork, clean lab environments, digital technology, and marketing.

The membership-driven makerspace supports two key functions for entrepreneurship and industry through prototyping and training. More than 150 machines and state-of-the-art equipment are available in the space. Grey Bruce Makers Inc. helped design and build the makerspace before taking over operations in 2024. The not-for-profit group is comprised of experts from across the province.

“Today, the Sydenham Campus is actively realizing its vision and potential,” said Grey County Warden Brian Milne during the ribbon-cutting event. “This hub is bringing together the right mix of tenants, entrepreneurs and workers. It has become an ecosystem where like-minded individuals, organizations and businesses come together to innovate and grow.”

The Sydenham Campus was purchased by Grey County in 2018 with an ambitious vision of developing a regional hub. The facility has seen tremendous growth in the past five years and has already supported crucial workforce development, entrepreneurship, and innovation in the area. 

In addition to County funding, the Sydenham Campus has benefited from the support of both the federal and provincial governments, and the private sector:

  • More than $1 million was invested by the Government of Canada through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario to support Catapult Grey Bruce and the makerspace.
  • The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs invested more than $100,000 in the facility and equipment.
  • Private sector investors have contributed more than $100,000 to support entrepreneurship.

Grey County was thankful for all of the support received for the project.

“We’re grateful for the support and trust both the upper levels of government have shown with their investments, and seeing private sector investors eager to support the campus confirms our belief that this hub is a true asset to the community and our regional economy,” said Milne.

Savanna Myers, Grey County’s Director of Economic Development, Tourism and Culture, echoed the Warden’s comments and thanked county council for their strategic vision.

“Grey County council has shown strategic leadership by making investments in the Sydenham Campus that are driving workforce development and our economy,” said Myers. “The campus provides employees and businesses with the skills and advantages they need to succeed in a rapidly changing world.”

Myers also highlighted the important role partners play in the success of the campus.

“We’re fortunate to have strong partners already supporting the campus. It’s important to have tenants who share our vision and support economic growth,” said Myers.

Current partners and tenants of the Sydenham Campus include Georgian College, Grey Bruce Makers Inc., the Business Enterprise Centre, Catapult Grey Bruce, the Grey County Early Learning Hub, Viola Jean’s Daycare, STEMVOX, and Reading Rescue.

More information about the Sydenham Campus can be found on the Grey County website here.

Since 2021 the campus has been involved with:

  • 500+ businesses have been directly received one-on-one support
  • 340+ businesses have started, expanded or been purchased
  • 250+ jobs have been created