RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The Virginia Advanced Pharma Manufacturing (APM) and R&D Cluster will receive $52.9 million, according to an announcement by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA).

The funding comes as part of the $1 billion Build Back Better Regional Challenge, one of the most impactful regional economic development competitions in decades. APM was just one of 21 winners that were awarded a total of $1 billion.

According to the EDA, the $52.9 million in funding will be used to expand the domestic supply chain for essential medicines and active pharmaceutical ingredients.

The funding will also be used to expand the growing pharmaceutical industry in Central Virginia.

Through various investments, including new wet lab space, infrastructure development for increased capacity in Petersburg and engagement with local pharmaceutical distributors. Virginia Commonwealth University and Virginia State University will also partner on a project to provide underserved residents with high-quality training and jobs in the pharmaceutical industry.

“I am thrilled to see the Advanced Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Cluster Growth Hub named one of the American Rescue Plan Build Back Better Regional Challenge winners,” said U.S. Senator Mark Warner, D-Va., who advocated for the funding. “This support will continue to strengthen the foundation and accelerate the growth of pharmaceutical manufacturing in the United States. As a proud supporter of the American Rescue plan, I am glad to see that Virginia continues to reap the benefits through job creation and economic growth.”