Hertford receives Electricities Downtown Revitalization Grant


November 18, 2023 

ElectriCities has awarded Downtown Revitalization Grants to two North Carolina public power communities: Smithfield and Hertford. Each community will receive $10,000 to help achieve its revitalization goals and spur downtown economic development. 

The Town of Hertford will apply the funds to implement their Community and River Front Plan focused on art installations to attract tourism and improve the economic environment. 

Like many towns in 2020, Hertford experienced a downturn in business and tourism during Covid. Looking ahead, Hertford participated in the Department of Commerce Community Economic and Resiliency Initiative Rural Planning Program to build resiliency for future potential economic impact. The Town decided to rebrand as a cultivating the arts community. Hertford's plan focuses on expanding offerings that include visual arts, theater, music, dance, and culinary arts designed to attract visitors who will spend more extended periods in the downtown area. 

"When the town first learned of the Harbor Town dinner boat/ferries were starting to provide service along the Inner Banks and the Albemarle Sound, we wanted to brand Hertford as a tourist destination for people to spend time here," commented Janice McKenzie Cole, Town Manager. "By having an arts-focused district, we will promote a diverse collection of talents to engage those looking at Hertford as a unique destination." 

One of the ways Hertford plans to convey its art-focused brand to the public is through murals and sculptures throughout the Town. 

"One of the sculptures we are commissioning is intended for people to take photos in front of and will be placed outside the Chamber of Commerce location. This will allow us to monitor the sculpture's success and help us plan our next installations," said Cole.