ECI region awarded $35 mil in READI 2.0 funds

Henry County officials learned Friday that East Central Indiana is receiving $35 million through the second round of funding in Indiana’s Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative (READI), called READI 2.0.

This is the second-highest regional allotment awarded from the total $500 million state initiative.

The $35 million will be split among ECI regional partners in Henry, Blackford, Delaware, Fayette, Grant, Jay, Randolph, and Wayne counties.

Top Videos: – Israel displays what it says is Iranian ballistic missile

Auto (225p)
Subtitles Off
Subtitles EN
Funding from READI is intended to fuel transformative growth and opportunity across communities in the region. This new allocation represents a $20 million (133 percent) increase in support for regional economic development initiatives compared to the first round of READI.

“The award is fantastic news for East Central Indiana and Henry County,” said Corey Murphy, President and CEO of New Castle-Henry County Economic Development Corporation. “Our region had the largest increase in funding from READI 1 with a $20 million increase.”

The entire region will provide a 1-to-1 public match and a 3-to-1 private/philanthropic match for those state dollars, for a total of a 4-to-1 regional match, or $80 million.

Murphy told the Henry County Council last week that local funding could come from the county’s Food & Beverage Tax, tax increment financing (TIF) districts, and from philanthropic investors.

As a member of the East Central Indiana Regional Partnership, Henry County submitted several projects as part of the “Forge Your Path” regional plan.

East Central Indiana’s goals are to invest in projects that support: Quality of Life; Housing and Infrastructure; Childcare and Support for Families and Education and Opportunity.

While he could not provide a full list of submitted projects, Murphy told the Henry County Council in December that a New Castle housing project was being considered as part of the regional effort. The project would include parcels on Washington Street near Wilbur Wright Elementary School and west of Memorial Drive behind the Trojan Corner shopping center.

Murphy reminded the county council last week that the project list is not finalized. He said those decisions will be made over the next few months, into the summer.

“It’s going to be a conversation locally. It’s going to be a conversation regionally. And then it’s going to be a conversation with the state,” Murphy explained in December.

After the $35 million regional funding was announced Friday, Murphy reiterated, “Project readiness (trying to avoid the pun) and alignment with the project plan will be important in the selection process.”

Trevor Friedeberg, President & CEO of the East Central Indiana Regional Partnership, expressed appreciation stating, “I am incredibly proud of the work that was put in across the region to make this award a reality. I speak for nearly 400,000 residents of ECI in thanking Governor Holcomb, Secretary Rosenburg, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC), and everyone who coordinated, collaborated, and came together to make this possible. With this award, we will accelerate growth in our region which will have an impact for years to come. I have said it throughout this process: East Central Indiana is primed for growth and this is our time!”

Local legislators supported the funding in the state’s two-year budget during the 2023 legislative session. Indiana’s total investment in this round of funding is expected to yield nearly $11 billion in overall investments from public and private sources to increase the vibrancy and prosperity of Hoosier communities.

“Thanks to careful planning and financial responsibility, Indiana is well-positioned to make these significant investments in our communities. I’m excited to see local projects move forward, which will make our rural area of the state an even better place to live, work, and raise a family,” said State Rep. Cory Criswell (R-Middletown). “We also know that this state funding will be eclipsed by other outside investments that will be generated through added jobs, housing, education opportunities, amenities, and more.”

“Indiana is in a strong financial position to make these transformative investments because of years of fiscal responsibility and conservative budgeting. Raising our region’s quality of life and quality of place is critical to our growth and success,” said State Rep. J.D. Prescott (R-Union City), a member of the House Ways and Means Committee. “Whether it’s expanding child care options, increasing mental health access, or boosting skills training, I look forward to seeing local residents and communities directly benefit from these investments.”

“I’ve seen the impact that READI continues to have in communities across our state. By investing in projects that enhance our neighborhoods and create opportunities for growth, we are creating a sense of pride for everyone who calls this place home,” said State Rep. Brad Barrett (R-Richmond). “This is about investing in the future of our community and making sure that it remains a place where families can thrive for generations to come.”

To learn more about the READI 2.0 program, visit or

Read the full article originally published in The Courier Times.