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. 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. Facebook Messenger An icon of the facebook messenger app logo. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Facebook Messenger An icon of the Twitter app logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. WhatsApp Messenger An icon of the Whatsapp messenger app logo. Email An icon of an mail envelope. Copy link A decentered black square over a white square.

Moray Council has invested millions into town regeneration projects, has it been worth it?

Post Thumbnail

In the last 10 years, Moray Council has invested millions into various regeneration projects to try to revive its towns.

The struggles of town centres have been well documented, with the surge of online shopping and plummeting footfall.

Regeneration projects can be like marmite, but they have played a key role in helping struggling Moray towns.

Now a Freedom of Information request has revealed the Moray Council’s cash contribution since 2011 to each regeneration project in Dufftown, Buckie, Elgin, Keith and Forres.

Take a look for yourself and have your say on the results in our poll at the bottom of this story.

The projects

Together, the Castle to Cathedral to Cashmere project and the conservation area regeneration scheme (Cars) poured £3 million of investment into some of Elgin’s oldest buildings.

The initiatives funded refurbishments to landmarks like the Muckle Cross and the Plainstones fountain.

Elgin town centre.

In Keith, the conservation area scheme ran from 2012 until 2016 which landed £2million.

This project gave Mid Street, Reidhaven Square and Chapel Street a much needed makeover.

Meanwhile, other towns such as Buckie, Forres and Dufftown have benefited from schemes like the Moray Leader Programme and Town Centre Capital Fund.

Team effort is ‘crucial’ to ensure Moray is an attractive place

Moray Council leader Graham Leadbitter believes working together is vital to ensure these regeneration projects are a success.

He said: “Working together as businesses, public bodies and community is vital to ensure Moray remains an attractive place.

“Schemes like the Elgin and Keith Cars schemes, Money for Moray and the Moray Towns Partnership have supported new business start-ups.

Graham Leadbitter.

“It also enables upper storeys to be converted into residential.

“The Keith Cars scheme was really effective.

“Going forward decisions are already being taken in further investment like Buckie Harbour, sustainable travel in Speyside and leisure investment in Forres.

“Investment in a various of facilities and incentives is important to support economy growth and get the best possible recovery from Covid.

Moray regeneration boosted footfall

Buckie Regeneration Group’s chairwoman Sonya Warren highlighted the Moray Town Partnership which ran between 2009 and 2018.

This partnership brought Buckie, Forres, Keith and Lossiemouth together to bring economic benefits.

Sonya Warren (Chair of the Buckie Regeneration Group) and Emma Marandola (Member of the Buckie Regeneration Group).

The projects that received money from the partnership included the Fishwives Walk which continues to be popular with visitors.

The 13-mile path was traditionally used by fishwives to make a 26-mile round trip from Buckie harbour to Keith and back again.

The women would make the journey carrying 40lb creels of fish on their backs, and often return the same day weighed down with heavy churns of milk.

‘Positive impact on Buckie’

Mrs Warren told the P&J: “It has had a positive impact on Buckie and we see people coming to the area.

“I know in Buckie we saw an increase in footfall.

“Working with the four towns was a benefit to the community.

“It was sad we couldn’t carry the funding because the partnership would have brought more Moray activities together.”

More investment needed in Moray towns

Rhona Patterson, chairwoman of the Keith and Strathisla Regeneration Partnership, said: “The Keith Cars was massive for the town and a huge boost.

“Investing in the town is great and it was quite a while ago so we would like some more investment.

“A lot of businesses have improved but there are always opportunities to grow.”

Keith and Strathisla Regeneration Partnership who are spearheading community efforts to help the Moray town flourish. Picture by Jason Hedges.

‘Funding played an important part’

Meanwhile, Forres Heritage Trust’s project to open up the walkway around the Tolbooth clocktower as a tourist attraction has benefited from funding.

The group’s chairman George Alexander said: “We received £9,375 from the Town Centre Regeneration Funding for the clocktower project.

“We are still waiting for final planning  and building warrant to make the walk safe.

“We appreciate the funding and it played an important part.”

Forres Heritage Trust chairman George Alexander (centre) is pictured with 8 other trustees at the Tolbooth.

What do you think?

You might also like…