Tourism expected to benefit from major funding package
THE tourism industry should be among the beneficiaries of a pledged £65 million investment in Moray.
The funding, to be implemented over the next 15 years, includes £32.5m each from the Scottish and Westminster governments.
The money will be funnelled into developing a number of different areas, including tourism, infrastructure, transport, energy and skills.
Although details of the specific projects won’t be confirmed until later in the year, developments will include a new cultural quarter in Elgin, which will showcase the area’s food, drink and textile products to tourists as well as promoting nearby attractions.
Moray Council’s director of economic development and infrastructure, Rhona Gunn, described the funding package as “a game-changer for the region”.
“This substantial investment in infrastructure will encourage our already considerable industries to grow while attracting new businesses and talent into the region,” said Gunn.
“The aim is to create a wealth of employment opportunities for our young people by investing strategically in our already established industries, while aiding expansion into new fields through increased innovation in the area.”
Further and higher education minister, Richard Lochhead, who announced the funding, said it will “make a real lasting difference to the future of the region and inject confidence into the economy”.
Tourism events across Scotland have also benefited from shares of a £147,576 funding pot from VisitScotland.
The support includes a £12,800 boost for a multi-arts festival in Dunfermline, a £16,000 grant for the Stranraer Oyster Festival, £13,076 to support the International Sheep Dog Trials in Brechin, and £5000 to the Nairn Book and Arts Festival.
And on the islands, the Scottish National Sheepdog Trials and Country Fair on Bute has received £5000 in funding, while the Mull Rally has received £12,000.
David Adams McGilp, regional director of VisitScotland, said: “Scotland is the perfect stage and our national funded events play a fundamental role, not only in contributing to our diverse portfolio, but in increasing domestic tourism, and delivering real social and economic benefits to local communities across the country.”