The P.E.I. government has signed a five-year lease agreement with the Belfast Community Development Corporation for the operation of the Lord Selkirk Provincial Park campground.

The park is on the Northumberland Strait, east of Charlottetown. Tourism Minister Rob Henderson told CBC News the campground was losing between $55,000 and $76,000 a year. The lease is for $1 a year.


The lease will give the local community opportunity to do more specific marketing, says Tourism Minister Rob Henderson. (Brendan Elliott/CBC)

As part of the agreement, the Department of Tourism will provide a grant of $72,000 to help fund the addition of serviced campsites and for operational costs during the first year. The department will provide $11,000 toward operational costs in year two.

"I think the biggest issue is that it provides the opportunity for the local community to focus and emphasize on marketing and promoting that particular location," said Henderson.

"As a department we tend to use all our parks, market them as one unit as such across the province. They can be a little more specific in targeting the marketing."

If BCDC opts out of the lease the property will revert back to provincial control.

"We are very excited to have the opportunity to take control of one of our area’s more important tourism products," said BCDC chair David Cooper.

BCDC already operates a number of other properties in the area, including Belfast Highland Greens golf course, Belfast Mini-Putt and Belfast Pool.

Henderson said there were seven provincial employees working at the campground. He's hoping they will be hired back on. If they aren't, he said, they can apply for seasonal and casual jobs within government.

The province has implemented similar leases at other provincial park campgrounds over the years, most recently at Green Park in Port Hill.