The heritage, culture and history of Moray could become the focus of creative minds and inspiration for ideas and visions that would greatly improve the local environment.
That was the view prompted by Moray’s MSP ahead of the launch of the Central Elgin Regeneration charrette on Monday.
Richard Lochhead will attend the launch at St Giles Church which will see members of the public with interest in a long-term vision for Elgin town centre being encouraged to bring their ideas forward.
The charrette is part of the Scottish Government ‘Town Centre Action Plan’, for which Moray Council has appointed a consultancy team to bring together the public design ideas for Elgin.
Local residents, businesses and stakeholders are being urged to have a say in the future planning of the town – with the MSP saying that the idea could have a much greater impact not only for Elgin but for all Moray communities.
Now Mr Lochhead is using the example of the Kelpies which now stand alongside the Clyde Canal near Falkirk as an example of what can be achieved by creativity in the community.
He said: “My view is that Elgin and Moray should think big and that we need to be ambitious.
“There are no shortage of inspirations and lessons to learn from elsewhere in Scotland, Europe and the world. Imagine what it would do for our image, pride, and economy if we had our own version of the Kelpies. Something spectacular that people from all over will want to visit and see for themselves.
“All we have to do to make this happen is focus our community’s creative minds. Elgin and Moray has plenty of heritage, culture and history to inspire ideas and visions.
“The launch of the charrette is a fantastic opportunity for local people to play a role in determining how the centre of Elgin will look in the future, and I’m really enthusiastic about encouraging the public to be creative.”
The MSP added that there should be no limit to ambitions for Elgin and local people only had to look at the success of destination art projects in other parts of the country. He added: “Moray already has a fantastic tourism sector and the idea of introducing dynamic and creative art projects could be an exciting addition, making even more folk want to visit Elgin.
“I will be bringing together community leaders in due course to explore this idea but in the meantime I wish the charrette every success and hope this can feature in these discussions as well.”
The charrette will launch at St Giles on Monday while a design studio will also be in place from 11am to 4pm until Thursday.