A £100million growth deal to boost the Moray economy has been backed by both the UK and Scottish governments today.
Officials believe the package will generate more than double the initial investment over the next 15 years while spearheading the area’s recovery following the coronavirus pandemic.
The heads of terms milestone, which was signed virtually this morning, means details of the projects receiving backing have been revealed for the first time.
Included are the creation of a “cultural quarter” in Elgin, including the refurbishing of the derelict Grant Lodge into a visitor attraction and a revamped Town Hall.
There is also the creation of a “business enterprise park” aimed supporting start-ups and helping small firms expand, the establishment of a “manufacturing innovation base” near RAF Lossiemouth to lead a “cultural shift” in production in the area and the formation of more stem (science, technology, engineering and maths) learning opportunities for three to eight year olds.
Backing has been detailed to improve bus connections in the area with greener technology and support affordable housing developments.
Investments has also been included to improve digital health services in the area due to increasing demands.
A formation of an aerospace campus as part of Moray College UHI near RAF Lossiemouth with up to 340 student place had already been confirmed.
Moray Council leader Graham Leadbitter said: “I welcome the commitment from both governments which, with match funding from partners, gives the Moray area an investment of over £100 million.”
“This is needed more than ever to help the local economy recover in the long-term from the Covid-19 crisis.”
Michael Matheson, the Scottish Government’s minister for transport, infrastructure and connectivity, said: “Investments through the deal will create new jobs, protect existing jobs and extend economic opportunities to communities, businesses and individuals across the region.
“At a time of such economic uncertainty and challenge, the projects and investment committed through the deal will be more important than ever.
“We will work with Moray Council over the coming months, to help them develop the projects to unlock investment and drive inclusive growth across the area as swiftly as possible.”
UK Government minister Iain Stewart said: “Working together with the Scottish Government and local partners, we will deliver the prosperity and opportunities that the people of Moray deserve.”