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£1.2 million for Moray town centres

By Leanne Murray

MORAY is set to receive more than £1 million to help boost its town centres.

There will be £50 million distributed throughout Scotland as part of the The Town Centre Fund, with £1,233,000 earmarked for Moray.

It will go towards supporting the council to ensure the high streets are more diverse and sustainable in the face of changing retail patterns.

The fund has set up in partnership with COSLA (Convention of Scottish Local Authorities) and it could include the re-purposing of empty buildings for housing or social and community enterprises.

The announcement of the extra cash was made last week and it will up to local councils to deliver the improvement in correlation with the individual town's Town Centre Action Plan.

The Scottish Government's finance secretary Derek Mackay said that High Streets have to adapt to overcome challenges as people are shopping more online than they ever have.

He added: “I want to make sure we can keep life in our high streets, and ensure they continue to be thriving places for communities to live, work and enjoy.

“This £50 million fund will enable local authorities to stimulate and support a wide range of investments which will encourage town centres to diversify and flourish, and create an increase in footfall through local improvements and partnerships.

“It is part of a wider boost to the economy through providing more than £5 billion of capital investment to grow and modernise Scotland’s infrastructure, and a wider package of support to businesses, including maintaining a competitive business rates package and providing the most generous package of non-domestic rates reliefs anywhere in the UK.”

Welcoming the funding allocation is leader of Moray Council, Councillor Graham Leadbitter. He said: “The announcement of very substantial Town Centre funding for Moray is hugely welcome. Over £1 million has been allocated to Moray, which is a massive opportunity to support town centres in our region, both large and small.

“We want to ensure that communities across Moray have a say in what will work for them, which could be anything from environmental and streetscape improvements through to schemes to get upper floors back into residential use or splitting up larger units into easier to let smaller units.

“Our goal must be to revitalise and bring greater vibrancy to our town centres and make them even better places to live and work.”

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