A CONSERVATION area appraisal has been launched in Forres in a bid to boost visitor numbers.
Heritage consultant Andrew Wright has been appointed to carry out the project.
Moray Council and partners, including Forres Heritage Trust, Friends of the Falconer Museum, Forres in Bloom, the local Development Trust and other partners awarded the contract to Mr Wright, a Forres-based chartered architect and heritage consultant and his team.
They will complete a conservation area appraisal, management and action and interpretation plan.
The project has been brought forward as part of the Moray Economic Strategy and its themes High Street First, The Visitor Economy and Arts, Culture and Heritage.
It is hoped the project will assist in attracting and retaining visitors to Forres, help regenerate the High Street and enabling full use to be made of the rich heritage experience that Forres has to offer.
The aims of the project are:
•To provide greater access to and understanding of the local heritage
•To create a sense of ownership and pride in the historical and environmental legacy, particularly by the younger generation.
•To improve the economic opportunities within Forres and surrounding area
•To create the opportunity to conserve & improve the built, historical and social environment.
A Moray Council spokesman said: "Forres, still with clear traces of its medieval pattern, has strong potential to provide a dynamic heritage experience, not least as a location associated with Macbeth."
The heritage and attractions of Forres form part of a wider visitor potential in west
Moray. Nearby are Kinloss Abbey, Findhorn Village and Findhorn Ice House, Culbin Sands, Burghead Headland Pictish Fort, Brodie Castle, Cawdor Castle, the Dava Way and Logie Steading, all established destinations which by working more cohesively together can increase visitor numbers.
"This development will allow the opportunity to explore our heritage and demonstrate how valuable it is to our environment and to our communities and invest for our future generations," added the spokesman.Read more on this story in 'The Northern Scot' print version.