Praise in Holyrood for Moray’s handling of community grants

Holyrood praise for Money for Moray scheme.
Holyrood praise for Money for Moray scheme.

MORAY CONTINUED TO be well represented at the Scottish Parliament this week with a new motion that heaped praise on Moray Council and the local community for embracing the ‘Money for Moray’ scheme.

The motion, raised by Douglas Ross MSP, asked the Parliament to join him in congratulating those local groups who were successful in the first round of funding, securing a share of the £60,000 available.

Mr Ross said: “Both Moray Council and the Scottish Government have contributed £60,000 to this scheme and it is very rewarding to see the range of different groups from across Moray receiving this funding.

“The projects were diverse and aim to meet a variety of different needs. Whether it was for Milne’s Area Forum to contribute towards the Kingston to Elgin bus project or Lossiemouth Community Development Trust for their East Beach bridge restoration project – and so many more.

“I also wanted to highlight the unique approach to this scheme in Moray so I was delighted to include in the motion that the participatory budgeting process locally was led by an entirely voluntary group consisting of 15 members who committed over 900 hours of their time to the project.

“I look forward to seeing the next round of applications when another £60,000 will be available and I’m sure those who listened to the presentations and voted for the successful applications this time will be keen to get involved again.”

Seventeen community groups shared the £60,000 last weekend, with a further equal sum being made available in the second round being considered in Rothes next month.

Money for Moray Working group spokesman Alastair Kennedy said of last weeks event: “There was a buzz in the hall from start to finish, with participants hoping their presentation would be enough to influence the voting public.

“Many applicants had obviously put a lot of thought and effort into their presentations which was appreciated by the audience. The working group sincerely hopes that those who were unsuccessful find funding elsewhere as there were no poor applications – they were all worthwhile projects.”

Praise for the success of the project also came from Mr Ross’ Fochabers/Lhanbryde ward colleague on the Moray Council, Sean Morton, who said: “I am so impressed with how people have come together to make the case for their communities. In my own ward, at least four different projects will benefit initially shrinking around £15,000 in funding.

“That includes some help for Portgordon’s Christmas Market and Lights and £5000 to the Kingston to Elgin bus project. Everyone should be very proud of themselves for their hard work so far.

“In particular, when it comes to the bus project, it’s not easy to go from a room full of very disappointed people in Urquhart Hall and turn that anger into action – but that’s what has happened and I’m sure the whole community is incredibly grateful to those that put in all the hard work.”