MORAY RESIDENTS HAVE given a massive thumbs up to plans for a Moray Growth Deal – a government-backed regional deal designed to boost growth.
A major part of the bid is the ability to demonstrate public support from those within the target area, and that has been organised through the ‘My Moray’ campaign launched earlier this year.
Part of the engagement process has seen a dedicated website, attendance at local events, briefings to community groups, engagement with the local business community, specific workshops at Moray College and the My Moray social media campaign.
All this activity has resulted in 1200 responses to an online survey to ascertain the wants and needs of Moray locals and its business community. The survey showed an 83% approval rating for the deal, with the top areas people wanted to see improvement listed as jobs, education, leisure/recreation and business growth.
There have been huge levels of interest in the Growth Fund bid among residents, as well as local businesses pledging their support. During the campaign, the My Moray website has seen more than 3000 unique visitors, while the My Moray Facebook, Instagram and Twitter following is now in excess of 1000.
A total of 53 students attended the Moray College Workshops and agreed with the objectives of the Moray Growth Deal to address issues that were relevant to them and their future in Moray. From the survey it emerged that 70% of students are likely to leave the area following completion of their studies.
The most common reasons for leaving the area were cited as jobs, housing, leisure and rural transport, which the bid is designed to address. The completed surveys will be analysed and reflected in a report to Moray Council and form the basis of further discussions with the Scottish and UK Governments.
John Cowe, Chair of Moray Economic Partnership, said: “The My Moray campaign was launched to encourage people to get behind the Growth Deal and think about what the future of Moray will look like.
“Thank you to everyone who has completed the survey, pledged their business support and engaged with the campaign at various events and on social media. From increased job opportunities, higher wages and better education to improved digital connectivity and better cultural offerings, we can work towards tangible improvements for residents if the Moray Growth Deal bid is successful.
“It was encouraging to hear progress on the city deals for Tay, Stirling and the Borders acknowledged in the Chancellor’s autumn statement this week. With the momentum generated by our own public consultation, we look forward to hearing about the Moray Growth Deal in the next Budget statement in 2018.”