Hilltown Village Enterprise Center to improve economic development in 4 towns

Hampden County

CHESTER, Mass. (WWLP) – A central office for economic development will serve several Hampden and Hampshire County hilltowns.The storefront in downtown Chester houses the newly established Hilltown Village Enterprise Center.The center is dedicated to the revitalization of four towns along route 20 West of Westfield.It’s an enterprise zone with a goal of spurring economic development in the towns of  Russell, Huntington, Chester, and Middlefield.The Village Enterprise Center will work with the historic U.S. 20 association, promoting economic development along route 20 in western Hampden and Hampshire counties.“When people come to the town they can say where can we go, where can we eat, where can we go hiking, things like that really isn’t present in the hilltowns,” said Bryan Farr of Historic U.S. 20 Association.Farr told 22News the hilltowns within this enterprise zone are home to several  attractions, including the historic chester railway station.The federal money making this enterprise zone possible will also focus on bringing new business to this sparsely populated region of western Massachusetts.“That starts with places like this village center around small business supported community, some of the cool things that are happening now,” said Jeanne Leclare, director of Gateway Hilltowns Economic Development.They’re hoping this enterprise center will help overcome historic disadvantages posed by a lack of a Mass Turnpike exit or provisions for Mass Transit.

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