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RAF campaign shifts focus

20 July 2011

Roadside signs erected at the start of the battle to save RAF Lossiemouth were ceremonially dismantled yesterday to mark the campaign's transition from 'fight to fix'.

The 'Keep the RAF in Moray' signs were located on the A96 and A941 routes to raise the profile of the campaign against defence cuts.

With the announcement that RAF Lossiemouth is to remain and that RAF Kinloss will be home to 1200 army personnel, the focus will now be on developing the Moray economy.

HIE's Calum McPherson said yesterday that with this particular fight won the Moray Task Force will cease its campaigning activities.

"It's important that we now focus on the local economy and what we can do to make it more resilient to this sort of threat in future," he said.

"The campaign is 'job done', now we're working on the next job - economic diversity for Moray."

At a meeting of the Moray Task Force in Elgin yesterday the baton was passed to the chair of the newly-formed Moray Economic Partnership, Jim Royan, who said that Moray was 'already out of the starting blocks' when it came to recovery.

"We have a huge opportunity now to do things differently, and we want to continue the momentum of the last nine months to the next stage," he said.

"What we do in the next 12 months will influence what Moray will look like in ten year's time.

"We already have a draft economic plan which we will be asking the public, businesses and local groups for views on, and that will inform our future development.

"This community has just shown how effective it can be when it works together, and if we can get that level of support for our next steps nothing can stop us."

Members of the Moray Economic Partnership, community and business leaders will be meeting with Finance Secretary John Swinney in Forres tomorrow (Thursday 21 July) as part of the Government's ongoing support for the community affected by the Ministry of Defence review.

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