Moray Council has said that its area’s economy is ‘set to be transformed’ by a £65m Growth Deal, which was announced yesterday by the UK and Scottish governments.
The first round of funding – £32.5m each from the two governments – will contribute to the economy, promote skills development, energy, culture and tourism, as well as improving connectivity and productivity across the region.
Moray’s Growth Deal bid was launched in 2017 after a public consultation and was supported by Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Moray College UHI, partners from public and third sectors, and private businesses within the area.
While the specific projects that will benefit from the deal are yet to be confirmed, the local authority is discussing the possibility of creating additional hubs for Moray College, which will focus on business enterprise, innovation and advanced technologies.
They are also considering the development of a Cultural Quarter in Elgin.
‘Today’s commitment by the UK and Scottish governments to Moray’s future follows a huge show of support by representatives from across our business and civic quarters, as well as from major industry players, the military, tourism and education sectors,’ said the leader of Moray Council, Cllr Graham Leadbitter.
‘Moray is a wonderfully attractive place to live, work, study and visit and the whole purpose of the Growth Deal is to maximise the desirability of our region.
‘This announcement is the most critical milestone to date and what we, as a Moray partnership, have been working so hard to achieve.
‘In the coming months we’ll be progressing the detailed business cases to reach a final "heads of terms", when the total value of the deal, including all the public and private sector contributions are known.’
Moray Council’s director of economic development and infrastructure, Rhona Gunn, described the announcement as ‘a game-changer for the region’ that would herald ‘a new decade of economic progression’.