Moray community groups are looking towards a bright future after learning about a new £3.5million funding scheme aimed at improving the area.
Dozens of representatives from charities and business groups attended the Morayvia Science and Technology Centre yesterday for the launch of the Moray Leader scheme.
The Kinloss attraction was chosen to host the event as it is one of several benefactors from a previous incarnation of the project.
Leaders from the blossoming tourist attraction gave a speech on how the scheme had helped them.
Other previous beneficiaries, from the Findhorn Bay Arts group and Keith Community Radio, also delivered talks.
The mood was kept lively by aspiring Buckie songwriter Calum Mackenzie Jones and local acappella singing group Too Many Kooks.
The Leader scheme is aimed at supporting groups across Moray by funding projects which “contribute to economic development” and “help to build a better future”.
It is managed by the Moray Local Action Group and funded by the Scottish Government and the European Community Leader Programme.
Priorities for funding include projects which focus on rural enterprise and on developing the area’s farms.
And agriculture expert, Sarah Skerratt, from Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC), gave a speech on how the countryside could bloom under the initiative.
She said: “This programme will make a significant impact for individuals and across Moray for the next three years.
“It’s going to blaze a trail as a shining example for communities.”
One of the organisers, Alistair Kennedy, added: “This is an opportunity to help small business survive and become sustainable in the future.”