The Moray Growth Bid team heads to Edinburgh next week to meet Scottish and UK government officials.
The meeting and workshops will look at the Growth Deal proposals and plan the next steps to help governments progress the bid.
Stephen White, head of place-based economic development at the Scottish Government, will lead the meeting. This will be the first opportunity that the team leading the bid for the Moray Growth Deal will have had to present the projects in person to influential representatives from both governments and get constructive feedback.
The workshop will give government officials the opportunity to consider the projects that have been put forward and work with the Moray Growth Deal team to help refine them. It is expected that discussions will include the amount of money needed to deliver a project, how transformational a project is and whether a project will deliver inclusive growth. Other factors include how a project supports Scottish Government policy and how it contributes to the UK Government’s Industrial Strategy. Overarching these factors is the feasibility of a project.
The team attending the workshops include Rhona Gunn, Moray Council’s corporate director for economic development, planning and infrastructure; Donna Chisholm, area manager for Moray at Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE); and individual project leads including David Patterson, principal of Moray College UHI and project lead for the Moray College Hubs; and Laurie Piper, operations manager for Moray Speyside Tourism and project lead for the Cultural Quarter. Representing the UK Government will be Neil MacLennan, team leader of home, social and domestic affairs from the Scotland Office.
Rhona Gunn said:
“We are really building some momentum behind the bid for a growth deal for Moray. In recent weeks, we have had a positive indication from Philip Hammond, Chancellor of the Exchequer, that he is willing to meet with Moray MP Douglas Ross to discuss the Growth Deal. Richard Lochhead MSP has secured a meeting with Keith Brown, Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work at the Scottish Government, specifically to discuss our bid. We already have cross party support for the bid from Moray Council and the workshop in Edinburgh next week will give us the opportunity to sit down with government officials and really understand how our bid stacks up and what else we need to do to get to the next stage which is an agreement in principle with both governments. I am looking forward to a constructive day and am grateful for both the invitation to sit down with key advisers and the continued support of the project leads who will be joining us in Edinburgh.”