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Priority sectors targeted to bring investment to Moray

01 March 2012

The Board of Moray Economic Partnership (MEP) has been discussing ways to target five industry sectors identified as providing top opportunities to bring investment to the area.

Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) has presented an investment guide to the private business and public sector members of the partnership. The 'Make it Moray for a better investment' document has been developed from the findings of an independent report carried out for HIE by consultancy firm Mickledore and published last year.

It was commissioned to consider the economic trends for Moray as it works to diversify from its reliance on defence, and to look at opportunities in the market for businesses considering where to invest.

Digital health, engineering for energy, high-end food production, business services, and hotel provision have all been identified as priority sectors which can bring investment to Moray.

Steven Hutcheon of HIE commented: "Moray is an innovative region with a unique set of skills. We wanted to draw together an overview of current trends and present the top reasons to invest in Moray. If you add these to our other assets - the fantastic quality of life, a strong partnership between business and the public sector, and the facts and figures about the development taking place in our sectors - we have a very persuasive argument for businesses to invest here.

"Working together with our partners in Moray, with Scottish Development International (SDI), which brings business to Scotland from across the world, we will share the report findings to attract new investment to the region. We have already had success with medical device company AccuNostics and business services firm ATOS which have committed to the area. And firms already based in Moray including Baxters, Walkers Shortbread, Forsyths and Capita have announced expansion plans."

The guide provides an overview of Moray's track record as home to international business, its skilled workforce, innovative research and development work and property portfolio. The agency is also developing detailed facts and figures on each of the priority sectors which can be matched to enquiries from investors.

Jim Royan of MEP commented: "The quality of Moray brands is recognised across the world. We have a successful track record in sustaining global food and drink businesses, and we are ready to deliver innovative projects, like the Moray Life Science Centre which this week got the green light from planners. By working together we can create a diverse economy for the people who live and work in Moray."


The Make it Moray proposition overview is available on the Moray Economic Partnership web section »

Key findings of the research report include:

  • The food and drink proposition suggests that inward investors in the food industry will need to be involved in a value add, lower volume but higher margin type product. There are opportunities in this sector with supermarkets, farm shops and delicatessen type operators stocking increasing ranges of higher value products. The proposition is based on the brand, experience and provenance that a location in Moray could provide.
  • The business services proposition is based on the untapped potential of the area. Business process outsourcing is a booming sector creating investment opportunities and there are many locations with a smaller commuter population than location in Moray that have secured investment in this sector.
  • The engineering for energy sector is based on the market opportunity of 384 deep sea wind turbines that will need regular maintenance and the fact that Moray has both experience and the port access to the opportunity. In addition to offshore maintenance there is the opportunity for further investment in biomass and anaerobic digestion. Moray presents a feedstock opportunity in these sectors.
  • The digital health proposition is linked to work already undertaken by HIE, which has recognised the pioneering work undertaken by a small group of forward thinking healthcare professionals from Dr. Grays Hospital in Elgin who have attracted considerable attention from the private sector over the last year. As a result discussions have taken place between multinational commercial companies and the Dr Gray's team to discuss the possibility for joint working to realise their ambitions to radically alter healthcare provision in Scotland. These projects will provide ehealth systems for the general public to monitor their own health and the possibility of adding data to their own health records, which presents potential for significant economic impact by opening up the market for digital health consumer products
  • The hotel proposition is a second area where Moray can present an argument for untapped potential. This is perhaps best demonstrated by the room rates achieved by other operators of only moderate quality. Moray has a shortage of high quality hotel bed spaces in hotels beyond the size of 15 bedrooms. This is despite the likely requirements of the large number of international businesses in the area, as well as more general tourism demand.


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