Elgin’s shopping centre could be transformed as part of the £100 million Moray Growth Deal.
As shops across the country close their doors permanently, the once-thriving St Giles Centre is now only half-full.
And now, it is understood that the centre is being considered as the location for UHI Moray Aerospace, Advanced Technology and Innovation Campus (MAATIC).
In recent times , it hasn’t been uncommon for shopping centres across Scotland to be used for non retail purposes. These range from vaccination centres to educational facilities.
Moray Council officials declined to comment on the specific campus project.
But they confirmed that the St Giles is being considered as part of the Growth Deal.
And, given most of the other big-ticket projects in the deal have already been given homes, it seems that Maatic is the only suitable project for the site.
St Giles was previously highlighted in the Elgin town centre masterplan with plans to hold discussions to explore opportunities to give the centre new life.
A Moray Council spokeswoman said: “The St Giles Centre is being considered as part of a programme of potential development with the Moray Growth Deal. More information will be available in the near future.”
What is the new Moray College UHI campus project?
The new Moray College UHI campus project is included in the Moray Growth Deal.
A world-class Moray Aerospace, Advanced Technology and Innovation Campus is proposed.
This would help a drive to push a generation of aviation and engineering jobs in the region.
It was hoped the MAATIC would work with both the RAF and private partners to support the fleet of Poseidon submarine hunters.
At the time, Moray College UHI said construction was expected to start in April 2022.
Fast forward four years, UHI say the business plan for the campus is now subject to changes which still have to be approved and more details will be revealed once it is given the green light.
Insiders have hinted this campus could be the new use for the shopping centre.
Health of St Giles Shopping Centre
The St Giles Shopping Centre is home to retail brands including Waterstones and WH Smith. It also has The Works, Subway, Ramsdens and Ashers Bakery, as well as mobile phone stores.
Last year, the centre received a boost as Gordon and MacPhail opened up a temporary retail shop inside Unit one.
In recent years it has been tough for the mall, suffering closures of stores such as Monsoon and Superdrug and Mountain Warehouse moving to a new location.
Centre owners Upland developments were contacted for comment.