News Story

Moray Growth Deal: Update bulletin three


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 third in a series designed to keep Councillors and key business contacts appraised of the progress with the project.


Following meetings with officials from both UK and Scottish Governments, a process has been agreed to work in lockstep towards a deal for the Moray region. Following this meeting, effort has been focussed on developing initial business cases to submit to government to start the negotiation process.

Meetings have been held with some key business leaders in Moray to champion support and gauge interest in further involvement. Others are scheduled for early in the New Year.

We are updating the My Moray website to include more information about the deal and encourage businesses to support us. You can sign up to show your support using this link - Show Your Support.

Progress since last update

  • Completed SOC (Strategic Outline Case) for majority of proposed projects
  • Completed analysis of community and business engagement exercises and published findings
  • Engaged with officials from both governments and Scottish Futures Trust to clarify process and check SOC content
  • Met with business leaders in the area to discuss the deal and possible creation of a Business Assembly

Targets for the next stage

  • Complete SOC for all proposed projects
  • Programme Board to review SOC’s and submit them to both Governments
  • Complete engagement with business leaders and finalise remit and membership of a Business Assembly, to act as a sounding board for the growth deal.
  • Review My Moray website<
  • Continue political lobbying to maintain the profile of the Moray deal

Key risks

UK Treasury Budget Announcement – the UK Government announced its budget commitment to regional growth deals in November; the announcement made no reference to Moray. After seeking clarification the UK Government officials advised that it is committed to financing deals across Scotland but these will each progress on differing timelines within the lifetime of the current Government.  So in short, the timeline for Moray is not yet confirmed, but we continue to work towards a target of June 2018.

Risk mitigation

We will continue to work hard to provide government with compelling business cases for the proposed projects in our deal and submit these without delay. After allowing a period for review of these, we can then accelerate political and business lobbying to ensure that Moray is given due priority.

Recent highlights

Public engagement findings published: 83% approval rating for the Moray Growth Deal bid.

Key contacts

Programme Board

  • Rhona Gunn (SRO) - Moray Council
  • Jim Grant - Moray Council
  • Gordon Sutherland - Moray Council
  • Donna Chisholm - 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
  • Alan James - Developing Young Workforce
  • Sarah Holmes - Moray Business Women
  • 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.
  • Scottish Futures Trust – infrastructure delivery company owned by Scottish Government who have advised and assisted with previous City/Region growth deals.
  • 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.
  • Business Assembly – a small group made up of members of local business community to champion the Moray Growth Deal and ensure that it is sensitive to the needs of business.

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

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