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Manufacturing Innovation Centre for Moray receives £5.6m approval

Published: 15/05/2024

Plans to establish a new facility in Moray that is expected to support up to 300 manufacturing jobs in the next ten years have secured up to £5.6m capital investment.

The Board of Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) has approved its funding contribution for the new Manufacturing Innovation Centre Moray (MICM), a Moray Growth Deal project that includes more than £4m of UK and Scottish Government funding.

The facility will be based on Enterprise Park Forres in a building currently owned by HIE, which will be refurbished with significant green credentials and used as a demonstrator for how to retrofit existing buildings to achieve a low carbon footprint.

In Moray there are more manufacturing jobs per head of population than any other part of Scotland. There are currently around 7,000 manufacturing jobs here, in sectors such as distillation and other food and drink, technology and advanced engineering, and forestry and textiles. 

Once completed, MICM will provide diagnostics, advice, information, signposting, and brokerage services to manufacturing companies across the area.

Its primary focus will be on stimulating innovation and growth in product and process development, with a strong emphasis on transitioning to low carbon practices.

There will be space in the building for business start-up incubation and space for existing business to undertake innovation projects, as well as demonstration facilities showcasing advanced technology and equipment.

David Reid, HIE area manager for Moray, said:

“MICM is about innovation, growth, productivity, and efficiency in Moray’s indigenous manufacturing companies and increasing the number of manufacturing start-ups in the area. It will encourage more research and development and help attract manufacturing inward investment.

“In a wider sense the new centre will be designed to support the creation of higher paid jobs, improve skills among the workforce, attract and retain more young people, and encourage occupational integration and gender balance.

“Planning for the project has been a long and detailed process involving many partners and stakeholders and we are grateful to all those who have helped to get things to this stage. We look forward to continuing this close collaboration as we advance the project in the coming months.”

UK Government Minister for Scotland John Lamont said:

“It's fantastic news that Moray's Manufacturing Innovation Centre is now a step closer to opening its doors and supporting hundreds of jobs. The UK Government is delighted to be providing almost £2.5 million to the project. This is part of the £100 million Moray Growth Deal, in which the UK Government is investing £32.5 million. In total we are investing more than £3 billion to level up across Scotland.”

In addition to £610,000 capital funding, the Scottish Government is providing a further £1.25m in revenue funding to support the MICM operating model.

Scottish Government Economy Secretary Kate Forbes said:

“This centre will support hundreds of high-quality, well-paid jobs across Moray by boosting the region’s capabilities in advanced manufacturing with a focus on net zero.

“Our £1.86 million contribution to this project through the Moray Growth Deal, and £2.56 million from Highlands and Islands Enterprise, will unlock economic potential across the region and create opportunities for the people of Moray as part of a growing, fair and green economy.”

The Moray Growth Deal is a transformational investment of over £100m in strategic projects that will maximise regional economic competitiveness and boost economic growth across the Moray area. The vision addresses issues specific to Moray and the projects are expected to address inclusivity and equality issues while also addressing transport and housing challenges to facilitate economic growth. It is called a deal because the projects need to meet the investment criteria of all partners – Scottish and UK Governments, Moray Council, other partners and businesses.

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