Hundreds of homes and businesses should be much safer from the threat of floods thanks to the £37million Forres and Pilmuir scheme which was formally opened on Thursday.
Designed by the engineers of Royal Haskoning and put in place by main contractors Morrison Construction, the opening of the scheme marks protection for the area from repeated flooding when the River Findorn and Mosset Burn became swamped.
The scheme was declared as a major success by Moray Council as it was delivered on schedule and almost £8million under budget. The local authority provided 20% of the funding for the project with the Scottish Government meeting the remaining 80%.
Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform minister Dr Aileen McLeod MSP performed the official opening of the scheme, marked by a bronze plaque. She said: “I am pleased that the Scottish Government has been able to provide 80% of the funding that helped to bring this scheme to fruition.
“This investment demonstrates the Scottish Government’s ongoing commitment to do all we can to reduce flood risk in Scotland.
“I would also give credit to the work and dedication Moray Council has invested in implementing the scheme with a design that will provide lasting protection against the sort of flooding that has struck Forres in the past.”
Moray Council convener Allan Wright said that along with other flood schemes completed and under way in Moray there had been an “investment in the safety of our people”.
He added: “On August 11 last year, my 70th birthday, I spent much of that day watching the Rivers Findhorn here and Lossie in Elgin rise to dangerously high levels.
“That was nail-biting stuff, but both flood alleviation schemes held and the moment passed.
“In Forres alone we estimated that over 1000 properties escaped the misery and devastation that would have resulted without this scheme.”