FORRES HIGH STREET has been crowned as the most beautiful in Scotland – beating competition from near and far for the honour.
In a competition organised by the Scotland Towns Partnership, Keep Scotland Beautiful and the Sunday Herald, Forres received almost one-quarter of all votes cast.
By contrast, Elgin gathered just six per cent of the votes – enough to clinch a top-ten position in eighth place.
Kevin Stewart MSP declared Forres as winners at the Scotland’s Town conference in Paisley on Tuesday. The Forres entry was enhanced by the colourful floral displays for which the town is now famous – but its distinctive architecture and the people who live in the town were also considered to be fantastic assets.
Leader of Moray Council George Alexander was delighted that his home town had clinched the title, insisting that it was a worthy winner, saying: “We have it all – green spaces, infrastructure, heritage, architecture – all kept to a high standard of care and cleanliness, reflecting the pride of place cherished by our people. We love where we live.”
Praising the hard work put in by the community groups, volunteers, shopkeepers and Moray Council, Councillor Alexander added that it was a fantastic achievement for Moray to boast two towns in the top ten.
He said: “As a Forres councillor I’m ecstatic that Forres won – it’s a tribute to the efforts of the volunteers involved and particularly those who are responsible for the fantastic floral displays on the high street.
“Thanks also to the shopkeepers on both high streets who create and maintain attractive window displays which we all enjoy.”
Politicians welcome award
The award was last night welcomed by Moray’s MP Douglas Ross, who said: “The High Street always looks wonderful, which is due to the efforts of everyone involved at Forres in Bloom and all the partner organisations who work to keep the town and its floral displays looking great, and also to the individuals and businesses who support them and volunteers who contribute to the town.
“I have always known how lucky I am to come from Moray and going to school in Forres I was always aware of how great the town looked and how much work went in to keeping it this way. This award is thoroughly deserved.”
“We are now looking forward to our Christmas Lights being switched on this weekend, which will add another dimension to the High Street and is again due to all the efforts of volunteers. I will be sure to mention in the House of Commons that Forres is officially Scotland’s most beautiful High Street!”
Richard Lochhead MSP added: “It is absolutely fantastic that Forres has been named the most beautiful high street in Scotland.
“So many community groups and volunteers, including the wonderful Forres in Bloom, alongside local businesses, work incredibly hard all year round to keep the High Street looking its best and everyone in the town can be very proud of this award.
“As local MSP, I’m over the moon to represent the most beautiful high street in Scotland and am very pleased that Elgin were in the top ten too. We should continue to celebrate our town centres and we should all do our bit to promote civic pride in our communities. Awards like these go a long way to boosting local morale and I’m delighted for the folk of Forres.”