Community and voluntary groups from Moray and the wider area will have a crucial role to play in minimising the social and economic fall-out from the anticipated MoD job cuts.
That was the message from a meeting held in Moray on Thursday which brought together representatives from voluntary and community groups and the Moray Task Force to discuss the implications on the region of the Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR).
Last month's SDSR announced the cancellation of the Nimrod aircraft programme destined for RAF Kinloss, and left a serious question mark over the future of RAF Lossiemouth. Together the two bases support more than 5,700 jobs and generate an estimated £150million a year for the local economy.
Eileen Bush of the Moray Task Force and Voluntary Action Moray said: "A third of the Moray Task Force comprises community representatives so it is crucial that everyone is as engaged on the way forward as possible.
"We face a worrying and uncertain time and there are many challenges ahead. But the meeting last night was positive given the difficult circumstances and the people who attended are clearly energised and ready to rise to meet these challenges.
"Our local community and voluntary groups are an intrinsic part of the social and economic fabric of Moray so it is crucial that they are engaged in as many ways as possible. The positive actions which can be made by communities - which were identified last night - will now feed into the forward action plans of the Moray Task Force."
Eileen Bush, Voluntary Action Moray on 01342 541 713 or Erlend Barclay, Scottish Government on 07825 175 222.