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First Minister explores Scottish Government support for Moray

08 December 2010

The campaign to safeguard the future of the RAF in Moray and potential support and development packages for the region were discussed at a meeting between the First Minister and Moray task force yesterday.

Discussions focused on the details of Scottish Government support and development packages to benefit the local community, businesses and personnel at the RAF bases facing uncertainty about their jobs.

The details on these will be finalised in the coming weeks.

The task force also took the opportunity to update the First Minister on the progress of the campaign so far, and to highlight plans to strengthen campaign activity in the weeks ahead.

First Minister Alex Salmond said:
"Today's meeting was very productive and highlighted the progress made by the Moray task force in this campaign so far. It provided a valuable opportunity to discuss in depth what more the Scottish Government can do to help.

"The situation in Moray is of national importance - over 30,000 people are directly employed in Scotland at our military bases and the Moray bases support over 5,700 jobs in the local economy. The Moray task force has worked hard and has been effective in drawing people together to campaign as a highly effective force.
"The Scottish Government will continue to make the case for the retention of RAF bases in Scotland and pressure the MoD and the UK Government to provide some much needed clarity on this issue. Scotland has lost more than 10,000 defence jobs since 1997, and from 2002 - 08, the UK Government spent £5.6 billion less on defence in Scotland than our fair share of MoD spending. That gap cannot be allowed to grow any further."
Calum MacPherson of the Moray task force said:

"The meeting enabled us to provide an update to the First Minister on the progress of the campaign so far, and to re-iterate how determined the people of Moray are in fighting for the future of the region's RAF bases.

"As we approach Christmas and progress further into the winter months, our campaign grows stronger and the momentum builds up. We are fully committed to this cause and will do everything we can to promote, protect and fight for the best possible future for Moray."

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