The Moray Growth Deal bid team has been officially invited to bid for a growth deal for Moray today, 28th September 2018, by Liz Truss, MP and Chief Secretary to the Treasury.
Liz Truss gave the green light today whilst meeting with local business leaders in Moray and visiting the new Macallan distillery and visitor centre.
Speaking about the prospect of securing a growth deal for Moray, she said:
“The UK Government is backing Scotland by committing more than £1 billion to support Scottish city region deals since 2014. The deals attract new talent to the area, create better access to technology and improving the local transport system. I’ve invited a bid for a Moray Growth Deal and I look forward to receiving ambitious proposals to unlock growth and productivity in the region.”
Moray Council Leader, Graham Leadbitter, added his support saying:
“This news is a real boost for the whole of Moray. The support for a Moray Growth Deal is evident right across the region in our communities, amongst business leaders and from the cross-party support of all of the Council’s political groups. There is still much work to be done but the Minister’s announcement represents a key milestone for the Growth Deal bid.”
Rhona Gunn, Moray Council’s corporate director for economic development, planning and infrastructure, welcomed the news saying:
“We are thrilled to get this green light. A lot of work has already been done over the last two years and we look forward to now making rapid progress towards heads of terms for a Moray Growth Deal.”
Scotland Secretary David Mundell said:
“I welcome this progress on a Growth Deal for Moray and we look forward to working with local partners on their proposals. City region and growth deals are a cornerstone in the UK Government’s longstanding commitment to invest directly in Scotland’s future, giving communities the financial backing to promote economic growth and allowing local partners to develop projects that place Scotland at the forefront of innovation, technology and connectivity. Our record on such deals for Scotland speaks for itself, having committed more than £1 billion so far.”
The recently formed Moray Growth Deal Business Assembly also welcomed the invitation to bid for a growth deal. Michael Urquhart, chair of the Assembly, commented:
“We are delighted to receive this positive news from the Treasury. The members of the Moray Growth Deal Business Assembly, and indeed, I’m certain the wider business community in Moray, share an ambition to grow our economy and create sustainable opportunities for the people of Moray to live and work here. We are ready to support the Moray Growth Deal bid team to help secure a good deal for Moray.”
The visit from the Chief Secretary to the Treasury is the latest in a raft of visits to Moray by government officials. Exchequer Secretary, Robert Jenrick, was in Moray last month to discuss the Growth Deal with Douglas Ross MP; Lord Duncan, the under-Secretary of State for Scotland, held discussions with Principal of Moray College, David Patterson; and David Mundell, Secretary of State for Scotland, was invited to meet with the Growth Deal bid team and a cross section of Moray business leaders back in April.
The next step in the process of securing a growth deal for Moray is hoped to be a reference to the Deal in the autumn budget statement by Chancellor Philip Hammond. This would formally unlock access to Westminster funding for the bid, allowing discussion on the composition of the bid to develop further. In tandem, the Growth Deal bid team will continue discussions with Holyrood advisers. The final deal will represent collaboration and agreement of a shared vision for Moray amongst all partners including Scottish and UK Governments, Moray Council, partners from across the public and third sectors and private businesses. Each of these partners will be investing in a better future for Moray.