ASHLAND, Ky. — A convention center and parking structure will be added to Winchester Avenue.

The city of Ashland received $6.8 million in Tax Increment Financing funds through the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority, according to a press release Thursday. The city was awarded the funds to encourage economic development, business expansion and job creation. The convention center will be located at the former G.B. Johnson building at 1401 Winchester Ave.

“The heart and the health of a community is its downtown business district,” said Mayor Steve Gilmore. “This is a progressive and responsible course which captures state tax revenue and returns it (to) our community.”

Economic Development Specialist Katherine Utsinger said the city is looking at having a structure capable of holding 1,000. The city wants to add a space to hold bigger conventions.

“Right now we don’t have a facility that can host a large-scale convention,” said Utsinger.

Utsinger said the city wants an extra space to complement the convention space the Delta Hotel offers.