News Story

Moray Growth Deal update bulletin


Following on from the success of City Deal bids for Aberdeen and Inverness, Moray Economic Partnership engaged with Scottish Futures Trust in the summer of 2016 to explore the potential for a similar initiative for the Moray area. Since then the deal has progressed in liaison with key stakeholders and with guidance from both UK and Scottish Government.

This bulletin is the second in a series designed to keep Councillors and key business contacts appraised of the progress with the project.


Initial briefings have been held with Lord Duncan and Keith Brown, and local MP/MSP’s. Feedback from these sessions has highlighted the need to be clear on the key risks to the programme which are detailed below.

Letters have been sent to key business leaders in Moray to ask for meetings regarding the deal with the aim of getting input and championing support, with plans for wider ongoing business engagement being developed. All community engagement exercises have now been completed and results are being analysed, communicated, and fed back into the programme development.

Progress since last update

  • Held initial briefings with ministers
  • Developed standard SOC template, details within each SOC being collated and also overarching Strategic Outline Programme
  • Concluded community engagement including early engagement with local businesses, with 1132 survey responses completed
  • Met with officials from both Governments to agree steps to Heads of Terms
  • Targets for next stage
  • Complete SOCs for each proposed project
  • Complete analysis of community and business engagement exercises and publish findings to date
  • Review and revise Statement of Intent
  • Complete next stage of business engagement
  • Create second stage of Engagement Plan to maintain the profile of the deal

Key risks

  • Political priorities – although both governments are supportive of the Moray bid, they have commitments to other regional bids, and different processes for unlocking the financial support required. The consequence of this may be a delay in getting to a Heads of Terms agreement.
  • UK Treasury Budget Announcement – the UK Government is set to announce its’ budget commitment to regional growth deals in November; the content of this announcement is unclear at this point in time.

Risk mitigation

The mitigation for both risks mentioned above is the same; we are working hard with government officials to gain clarity around the evolving process and lobbying to ensure that Moray is given priority. Meantime the projected target date for Heads of terms has been extended to June 2018 to reflect both these risks and the need to further refine the projects sitting within the deal.

Recent highlights

Meetings with Government Ministers/MP/MSPs

Key Contacts

Programme Board

  • Rhona Gunn (SRO) – Moray Council
  • Jim Grant – Moray Council
  • Gordon Sutherland – Moray Council
  • Rachel Hunter – Highlands & Islands Enterprise
  • Steven Hutcheon – Highlands & Islands Enterprise
  • Seonag Campbell – Skills Development Scotland
  • David Patterson – Moray College, UHI
  • Fraser Grieve – Scottish Council for Development & Industry
  • Jill Armitt – Developing Young Workforce
  • Sarah Holmes – Moray Business Women

Project Manager

  • Dave Moreton – Moray Council


  • SOC/Strategic Outline Case – In simple terms the first stage of the business case for a project, where options are explored by relevant experts.
  • Heads of Terms – the agreement in principle to develop detailed business cases for agreed projects.
  • Statement of Intent – document explaining the issues, progress and proposed solutions.

If you have any Questions or comments then please contact the Project Manager or email the Moray Council PMO at

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