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News Story

Ten-year economic strategy launched to create a prosperous and sustainable future for the people of Moray

December 13th 2018: A new ten-year economic strategy and vision for Moray was launched today at RAF Lossiemouth by the Moray Economic Partnership (MEP) with the stated aim of moving the region into one of the top performing parts of Scotland for economic performance.

The vision is for Moray to become a place that is thriving because of an increasingly diverse economy and a growing population that celebrates success and values education and training. It is hoped that Moray will be a place where communities flourish thanks to a balanced population, higher wages and crucially, opportunities for all.

Success will be determined when Moray features in the group of local authority areas in Scotland across the key indicators of:  percentage of people in the workforce educated to SCQF level 7 or above; percentage of businesses employing more than nine people, percentage of employment in higher level occupations and gross average weekly pay.

Graham Leadbitter, Chair of Moray Economic Partnership and Leader of Moray Council, who presented the strategy today explained: “The economic strategy we have presented today is founded upon a common belief that Moray has many strengths, including its natural assets, its traditions, and a shared commitment to success. Our biggest strength is our people and with a huge focus on skills and attainment this strategy aims to get the best from and for Moray’s people.

“The Moray Economic Strategy considers the most important and transformational issues for our region over the next ten years and recommends a plan to get Moray to a place where it is one of the most successful regions in Scotland, where wealth and health are equitably distributed, communities flourish and people reach their full potential. I am personally looking forward to playing an active part in this exciting journey.”

Speaking at the launch, Donna Chisholm, Moray Area Manager at Highlands and Islands Enterprise said: “Moray is a great place to work and invest in, and the strategy aims to ensure our economy and our communities flourish over what will be ten years of rapid change. Everyone here plays a part in making Moray successful, so our partnership will pull together to make an even greater positive difference.”

Welcoming the MEP to RAF Lossiemouth for the Strategy launch, Group Captain James Walls DSO, RAF Lossiemouth’s Station Commander said: “It is fitting for us to host the launch of this Strategy here at RAF Lossiemouth due to the positive impact the Station’s growth will have in Moray over the coming decade. RAF Lossiemouth makes a tremendous contribution to the security and prosperity of Moray, Scotland and the United Kingdom. The MOD is investing £400m in new facilities, which will see a fourth Typhoon squadron and the entire UK fleet of submarine-hunting Maritime Patrol Aircraft based right here. All 2300 employees here look forward to helping building the Moray economy.”

The economic strategy has a clear action plan over the next decade to deliver four specific strategic outcomes in the areas of qualification levels, small business growth, talent attraction and retention and business competitiveness.

Qualification levels

The ambition is to increase qualification levels across all ages and genders in academic and vocational achievement, relevant to growing sectors in the economy. The following actions will deliver this outcome:

  • Improve educational attainment by at least 1% each year in key SCQF measures to move above the Scottish average consistently within 10 years.  
  • Increase in the proportion of young people in learning, training or work to meet the national average next year and exceed within three years
  • Moray Skills Pathway, and specifically, Developing the Young Workforce, will deliver a series of initiatives to encourage employers to offer work placements, work inspiration activities, and schools/business partnerships, exceeding national targets. 
  • Moray employers will improve commitment to apprenticeships with starts increasing overall by 10% each year
  • STEM activities will enrich the education provided for every 3-11 year old in Moray

Small business growth

The ambition is to see more small and medium sized businesses employing between 10 and 100 people. This will be achieved by:

  • A long-term programme of business acceleration activities to support around 100 young and small enterprises each year to focus rigorously on their growth in UK and international markets
  • Business and social economy related membership organisations to actively encourage their members to seek out expertise, funding, mentoring and market awareness advice to fuel growth
  • Local Authority planning performance to exceed Scottish average in all business and industry areas routinely benchmarked

Talent attraction, retention and return

The aim is for Moray to provide more skilled, higher paid jobs that deliver net in-migration of 16-29 year olds. This will be achieved by:

  • A series of talent attraction actions which will position Moray within Scotland and internationally, enabling people to easily locate and find high quality employment
  • Moray attracting at least two new inward business investors each year, generating diverse, higher paid jobs
  • Investments in cultural infrastructure to strengthen Moray’s ability to attract and retain talented people in the area 
  • A campaign to improve recruitment policies in the private and third sector sectors to focus on longer term planning and on commitments to supporting work-based learning

Business competitiveness

The goal is to see an increase in capital investment and focused workforce development to strengthen competitiveness in Moray. This will happen thanks to:

  • Higher and further education providers improving the alignment of course provision and take up relevant to growth industry sectors in Moray
  • New economic development initiatives to strengthen competitive advantage from initial business research and development through to product and service launch
  • Business and social economy support organisations providing advanced specialist training locally which is directly relevant to core capabilities in enterprise development
  • Large employers in Moray expanding their work-based learning opportunities to take account of future workforce requirements


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