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‘Brilliant ideas’, ‘Why not change their name to Elgin Council?’ : Reaction to £18m masterplan ambitions

How the Junners building could look like.
How the Junners building could look like.

The topic of regeneration can certainly spark debate.

Over the years, like many High Streets, Elgin has struggled.

Now efforts are being made to breathe new life into the town.

Yesterday, we broke the news that Moray Council had agreed to submit an £18 million bid for funding from the UK Government’s Levelling Up Fund which could change the face of Elgin.

The bid will support the Elgin town centre masterplan, which was approved in November following a public consultation.

Elgin town centre.

Some were excited about the plans, while others raised concerns about other towns being left behind.

Here’s what you had to say.

Your views on plans to breathe new life into Elgin

On our own comments section, a user called John was unsure about the proposals to turn the Elgin Club on Commerce Street into a 14-bedroom new high quality boutique hotel.

He said: “Well it’s a start.

“Not sure about the hotel in the old Elgin Club.

“There’s no parking nearby and I can’t imagine boutique hotel users carting their suitcases from the council multi carpark.”

The Elgin Club will be refurbished and extend this listed building for use as a boutique hotel as part of the masterplan. Picture by Jason Hedges.

Let us know what you think about the plans in our comments section at the foot of this article. 

Lydia Simpson hopes the funding can be secured to back the “brilliant ideas” in the plans.

Michelle Munro said: ” Splash pad for kids at (Cooper Park) would be ace!

After reading about the plans which include a Cooper Park revamp and new facilities in the High Street, Nick Chambers suggested officials should be looking elsewhere to revive the town.

He said: “I don’t see bus loads of tourists visiting the High Street or Cooper Park.

“But what I do see are thousands of people coming to Elgin to visit the cathedral and biblical gardens… yet there are no facilities for them.

Locator of Elgin Cathedral.

“Why not move Historic Scotland into new, purpose built facilities on the business park, and convert their lovely buildings into a cafe and visitor centre, linking the cathedral and the gardens together in one attraction.”

Plea for more efforts to aid other towns

While Elgin is the focus of this funding bid, residents in places like Buckie and Forres want more to be done to help revive their towns.

Leslie Goodison said: ” So a quick read through shows it’s not a level up for Moray but a level up for Elgin.  “As usual with Elgin it’s the be all and end all of Moray.”

Jim Grant added: “Just change your name to Elgin Council. “You can spout off about Moray Growth Deal but all your focus is always solely on Elgin!”

While former Buckie councillor Tim Eagle raised concerns.

Former Buckie councillor Tim Eagle

Mr Eagle said: “There are moments I wish I was still a councillor.  “I could be wrong but this looks 100% Elgin-centric again!

“Now whilst there are other small schemes designed to support other communities they are tiny next to the growth deal impact on Elgin and now this.

“People always used to say Elgin gets everything. Once I tried to say it wasn’t true.

“Now I’m the one saying it.”

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