Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Growth deal vision for Moray could finally unlock doors of derelict landmark

Grant Lodge, Elgin
Grant Lodge, Elgin

One of the cornerstones of the growth deal vision for Moray is the creation of a “cultural quarter” in Elgin.

The development in the Lossie Green and Cooper Park area will include a refurbished Town Hall and, potentially, a privately-funded hotel.

Meanwhile, the public sector package could finally unlock the doors of Grant Lodge as part of a project that would convert the derelict 18th Century former library into a visitor attraction showcasing Moray’s heritage as well as its food and drink industries.

The landmark has been boarded up since a fire in 2003 left it financially beyond the reach of its Moray Council custodians to repair.

Now it is hoped the much-loved building could become a “visitor orientation facility” to signpost tourists to other attractions across the region.

Efforts by campaigners to reopen the building as a heritage centre have, until now, been thwarted by a lack of cash.

Funding for Elgin Town Hall has been earmarked to refurbish it and create a more flexible “multi-purpose entertainment venue” capable of hosting larger events.

The wider Cooper Park and Lossie Green area could also be reshaped as part of the aspiration to develop Elgin’s national and international visitor offer, while attracting and retaining young talent.

Laurie Piper, chief executive of Visit Moray Speyside, described the combined package of the cultural quarter as “hugely exciting”.

He said: “This opens the door for the next phase of Moray Speyside’s growth as a region, which is particularly important as it begins to rebuilding from the difficulties of recent months.

“I believe the cultural quarter can make a significant contribution to the future of sustainable tourism.”

The establishment of a “manufacturing innovation base” near RAF Lossiemouth is also intended to keep local firms abreast of emerging technologies.

It is hoped the development will help encourage a “much-needed cultural shift” among companies and inspire them to modernise.

Stewart Black, Highland and Islands Enterprise’s area manager for Moray, said: “More people work in manufacturing in Moray, as a percentage of the whole workforce, than anywhere else in Scotland.

“This is really about looking at how we stay ahead of the competition here across all the different industries, whether it be textiles, food and drink or engineering.

“We want to try and encourage improvements in productivity and help get to net-zero emissions, which is part of what the Scottish Government wants to achieve.”

Hopes £100million funding package for Moray will spearhead region’s coronavirus recovery

Already a subscriber? Sign in