Moray’s hopes that 14 secret projects will revitalise region

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George Alexander – 14 projects.

MORAY HAS A SECRET list of 14 projects they hope will become reality by the region being accorded region deal status by the UK and Scottish Governments.

Last year ‘#MyMoray’ was launched, a bid by Moray Council and business leaders to bring the benefits of City Deal status already accorded to neighbours Aberdeen and Inverness to Moray.

Now a report being put to councillors this week will outline progress on the process that could see investment of millions of pounds on specific projects. The council’s director of economic development, Rhona Gunn, will highlight the strong support from Moray communities for the plans – but stresses that they remain “long term”.

Her report will say: “It is a long term plan centred on specific projects designed to transform the economy, address concerns about encouraging young people to live and work in the area and address gender inequality.

“The overall vision has been summarised as Innovation and Tradition – focusing on how we have built our traditional industries to diversify and develop our economy.”

The plans for a new Elgin Business Park are one element of the 14 projects seeking funding – as is proposals for affordable housing, tourism and the digital economy.

But Council Leader George Alexander says the local authority will remain tight-lipped on the details of the list, saying: “The target has been to come to a ‘head of terms’ agreement by this summer – so we are still on target with what we set two years ago.

“We have narrowed it down to 14 projects – but we are not making them public so we do not raise any false hopes. Because of the size of them, government support really is crucial so that we can attract private investment too.”