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Growth deal team take to London

By Louise Shaw

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Moray’s Growth Deal team have visited London as part of its campaign for the area’s multi-million-pound bid.

Major figures from Moray’s business, military and civic arenas were drumming up support for the best possible growth deal from Westminster’s politicians and senior advisors, in advance of an anticipated announcement this summer.

Moray's growth deal team attended a series of meetings in London.
Moray's growth deal team attended a series of meetings in London.

The growth deal is hoped to significantly improve local infrastructure and trigger a substantial boost to the local economy.

Hoping to put his signature against the deal this year is the leader of Moray Council, councillor Graham Leadbitter.

He said that the show of strength from such high-profile representatives of Moray’s business and civic quarters will demonstrate the wide support a deal has.

Cllr Leadbitter added: “We have already secured the backing of a number of household names, such as Walkers Shortbread’s Jim Walker and Grant Gordon, of William Grant & Sons.”

Their support will be backed up by leading figures from major industry players such as Boeing, along with representatives from the tourism and education sectors, and civic life attending the event.

Cllr Leadbitter added: “There is no doubt that this deal will be transformational for Moray, and the presence of such prominent local representatives from so many arenas of Moray life demonstrates the level of support we have for it.”

In advance of the evening reception at Dover House, the delegation met with treasury officials at 11 Downing Street to discuss the economic benefits of the bid to the area.

Rhona Gunn, corporate director for economic development, planning and infrastructure, Moray Council, said: “Moray’s business potential and environment are first class, and the growth deal will enable us to invest in growing our already considerable industries. All industry requires an excellent infrastructure to grow, and this deal will help provide that.

"The spin-off is greater employment opportunities - especially for our young people, more private sector investment and it will herald a new decade of growth in Moray.

“We expect to complete the first stage of the deal process – called the Heads of Terms – which we hope to finalise soon after the scale of the deal is announced. We can then begin detailed planning of the 10-year timeline for the projects within the programme.”

Moray MP Douglas Ross added: "This was an important series of meetings to get key stakeholders involved in the Moray Growth Deal into the heart of government to further press the case for this ambitious and transformative plan for our area.

"There is still work to do with both the Scottish Government and the UK Government, but there is certainly a positive feeling following the meetings held in Westminster with the team behind the Moray Growth Deal.

"With the backing of both our governments I'm certain we can have a positive outcome in the not too distant future."

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