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New economic strategy for Moray

08 March 2011

A major new strategy is to be developed for the economic future of Moray.

It will supersede the existing Moray 2020 document and will set out a long-term economic diversification strategy for the area.

The new Moray Economic Strategy is being promoted by the Moray Community Planning Partnership as an example of joint working by its members - Moray Council, HIE, Grampian Police, NHS Grampian, Moray College and the business and voluntary sectors.

The strategy will be developed in tandem with another community planning partnership initiative, Elgin - City Region For The Future, work on which is already under way.

It is intended that both documents will be completed by the end of May and published simultaneously.

The Moray Economic Strategy will provide an over-arching vision for the Moray economy and will highlight both the threats and opportunities which the area faces now and in the years ahead.

Although the continued presence of the RAF in Moray remains uncertain, it is recognised that many other economic challenges will also have to be met.

Moray Council convener Councillor George McIntyre, who also chairs the Moray Community Planning Partnership, said: "These two projects - which are separate but complementary - are an excellent example of partnership working and have the full support of all the partners.

"It is particularly important that we have an over-arching economic vision of what lies ahead, not only because of recent developments at our two RAF bases but also as a result of the economic challenge facing both the public and private sectors."

Councillor John Russell, chairman of the council's economic development and infrastructure services committee, said: "Moray 2020 has proved useful but the time has come for it to be replaced by a strategy that recognises both the threats and opportunities that exist for Elgin as well as the other main towns in Moray and their surrounding rural areas.

"The closure of RAF Kinloss and the continuing uncertainty over RAF Lossiemouth are clearly a major issue for Moray and its economy, but it is likely to be just one of many challenges that will emerge over the next five to 10 years and it is important that we have a strategy in place to meet those head on."

Calum MacPherson, HIE area manager for Moray, said: "No matter what the future holds for the bases in Moray we need to deliver an ambitious strategy which will take us forward in the long term.

"There are two key areas which will create economic opportunities - developing the strong expertise we have in exporting and creating more high quality jobs."

The community planning partnership will be holding a series of seminars throughout Moray in early April to obtain feedback from local businesses and other stakeholders prior to the publication of both strategy documents towards the end of May.

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