Governments’ commitment to Moray Growth Deal ‘signals positive future’

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Moray’s multi-million-pound growth deal has been given a firm commitment from both UK and Scottish governments.

The Secretary of State for Scotland, Rt Hon Alistair Jack MP, and the Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity, Michael Matheson MSP, have written a joint letter to Moray Council Leader, Cllr Graham Leadbitter, to re-affirm their support for the deal.

Both stated they will be signing the Heads Of Terms – the formal commitment from each government  to invest more than £60million each into the area – as soon as they can, virtually if necessary.Agreement to the Heads of Terms is a critical milestone in the progress of the deal, which will play a major role in the area’s recovery after the COVID-19 crisis has diminished

Moray Council’s lead officer for the Growth Deal, depute chief executive Rhona Gunn, said that work on the ground will not be delayed by the pandemic.

“Work to develop projects has continued despite the other pressures which the Council and its partners have been under since the crisis began,” she said.

“Through the Moray Economic Partnership we are looking at economic recovery across Moray and this will include the Growth Deal, as we  recognise the need to build a more productive, inclusive, sustainable and resilient economy both for the immediate future and in the longer term.”

Positive future

Welcoming the letter of commitment, Cllr Leadbitter – who also chairs the Moray Economic Partnership – said it signals a positive future for Moray coming out of the pandemic.

“I welcome the very strong support being shown by the Scottish and UK governments to the Moray Growth Deal.”

Our Growth Deal team have continued to work behind the scenes along with civil servants from both governments on the Growth Deal projects, which will be more vital than ever as we start to recover from the Covid emergency.

“These projects will be transformational, seeing tens of millions of pounds invested over a sustained period and injecting new innovation into our local economy. Moray has an enormous amount to offer and the strong backing of both Governments is a great endorsement of the work being done and sets the tone for economic recovery.”

Commitment to invest in Moray

Moray MP Douglas Ross also welcomed the progress: “I’ve had involvement in the Moray Growth Deal as both the local MP and now a Minister in the Scotland Office. The joint letter from the Scottish Secretary on behalf of the UK Government and Michael Mathieson for the Scottish Government reiterates the commitment to invest in Moray, supporting some truly transformational projects.

“A lot of work has gone into the Moray Growth Deal and while the current battle to defeat Coronavirus is the number one priority, a lot of work has been done locally and nationally to progress the deal to the stage where we can sign the Heads of Terms, virtually if necessary.  This will enable the much-needed funding to come to Moray as soon as possible and allow us to progress with the range of projects that will be supported through the deal.

“The progress shows how positive joint working between the UK and Scottish Governments can deliver for us locally in Moray and I commend everyone who has been involved in getting the Growth Deal to this crucial stage, ready to start delivering for the whole of Moray.”

Marc Hindley
Author: Marc Hindley

Marc has worked as journalist and photographer all over Scotland. He also runs a PR and digital marketing agency Canary Dwarf. He has lived in Forres with his wife and three children since 2001.