NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Ministers sign £65m investment deal for Moray

Cullen, Moray Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The money will be available for investment projects in communities across Moray, like Cullen

The Scottish and UK governments have signed a deal to invest £65m in the Moray region over the next 15 years.

Both governments contributed £32.5m to the "Moray growth deal", which will be spent on creating jobs and investing in infrastructure, transport and tourism.

The pact is the latest in a series of "city deal" schemes pledging extra cash to Scottish cities and regions.

Moray MSP Richard Lochhead said the move would "make a real lasting difference to the future" of the area.

And UK Cabinet Office Minister David Lidington said he was "delighted" that the "transformative package of support will boost the region's economy by helping to attract and retain people to live and work in the area".

The representatives of the two governments signed the funding agreement in Elgin. Details of specific projects to be supported will be announced after further talks, along with further funding commitments from local public and private sector bodies.

The local council said an expansion of Moray College was being discussed, with hubs to focus on business enterprise, innovation and advanced technologies, along with the development of a "cultural quarter" in Elgin.

Council leader Graham Leadbitter said there had been a "huge show of support" from across the local community, adding: "Moray is a wonderfully attractive place to live, work, study and visit, and the whole purpose of the growth deal is to maximise the desirability of our region."

Similar "city deals" have already been signed for Glasgow, Aberdeen, the Highlands, Stirling, Edinburgh, Dundee and Perth.

Mr Lochhead said the Scottish government had committed "more than £1.7bn over the next 10 to 20 years" to such deals, saying they would "inject confidence into the economy".

And Mr Lidington said the pacts were "a key part of the UK government's long-standing commitment to invest directly in Scotland's future".

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