A higher quality of life and improved job prospects have combined to make Moray one of the most desirable places to live in Scotland.
New figures released this week are showing that the region’s population is growing five times faster than the Scottish average – proving that Moray is bouncing back from recession quicker than Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen.
The General Register of Scotland figures show that people in every age group are either coming to live and work in Moray or choosing to remain here – and that is proof, according to the Moray Economic Partnership, that the quality of life in the region is second to none.
Vice-chairman of the partnership, former RAF Kinloss station commander James Johnston, outlined four reasons he believes that Moray’s population has shown such a dramatic upturn.
He said: “Like myself many people who left the RAF when the service pulled out of Kinloss have not left the area – they have remained to set up new businesses.
“Secondly these new businesses attract people who can provide skills not currently available to the region, while thirdly the transition of the RAF Typhoon squadrons to Lossiemouth is bringing new faces to the area.
“Finally the quality of life here in Moray is second to none – I believe the population growth is down to people exploiting that fact by living here and commuting to work in Aberdeen and Inverness.”
The figures show that the Moray population increased by 1.6% between the summers of 2012 and 2013 – compared to a national rise of just 0.3%. Neighbouring Highland and Aberdeenshire regions also saw increases but not as dramatic as Moray at 0.01% and 0.9% respectively.
Moray Council leader Alan Wright says the figures are showing the local economy is rising recovering from the massive setbacks of reduced military footprint in the region. He said: “Retired people are favouring moving to Moray because of its climate, low crime figures and quality of life.
“But I believe that younger people are now choosing to live here in greater numbers. Recent years have seen a massive explosion in the whisky industry – what is more a lot of these jobs are well paid, which means there is more money in the local economy.”