RAF Kinloss and RAF Lossiemouth contribute £158 million in gross income to the Moray economy and collectively support 5710 full time equivalent jobs (FTE) within the region. The figures have been calculated by independent economic consultants Reference Economics, commissioned by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).
An executive summary of the report published on Thursday 12th August, in advance of the full report being finalised, assesses the impact on the local economy activity at RAF Kinloss and RAF Lossiemouth, and takes into consideration the wider impact on local services and infrastructure.
The appraisal was initiated in January 2010 by HIE and has involved working closely with RAF Kinloss, RAF Lossiemouth, Defence Contractors, Moray Council, NHS Grampian and Moray College, in sourcing the latest economic information and wider social and economic impacts.
The bases collectively support 5,710 FTE jobs in the local economy. This equates to 16 per cent of all FTE employment within Moray. RAF personnel households have a total population of 6,542 people, which accounts for seven per cent of the total population of Moray. RAF households also have 1,237 children in state schools in Moray, with these pupils accounting for 10 per cent of the total state school rolls in Moray.
The completion of the appraisal enables HIE and partners to inform the Strategic Defence & Security Review (SDSR) being conducted by the UK Government. It is clear that the economy and population of Moray are heavily dependent on the RAF, probably more so than any other region of the UK. This work will ensure the UK Government is fully informed about the social and economic importance of the two Moray bases to the
north of Scotland.
HIE and partners are working hard to highlight the importance of the RAF to the region, and have sought meetings with UK Government ministers to make the case for retention of the bases.
Calum MacPherson, HIE's Area Manager for Moray, said; "This work provides is a factual base to ensure that those seeking to make or influence the decisions are well informed. Due to the scale and long term presence of the RAF in Moray the two bases are woven into the surrounding communities, not least because they support at least 16 per cent of local employment. The threat to the economy and population in the region is therefore more acute in Moray than other region in the UK."
George McIntyre, Convenor of Moray Council said "This independent review confirms just how integral the RAF bases are in Moray. In addition to the economic input, the RAF personnel and their families play a vital role in the communities in the region with significant contributions to volunteer and charity work. It is vital the decision makers consider the economic and social consequences of the Defence review."
The full report is being finalised and will be published in due course.