The Moray task force is set up
20 October 2010
Business and community leaders in Moray will continue to press the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to retain a strong presence in the county, following publication today of the UK Government's Strategic Defence and Security Review.
Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Moray Council and Skills Development Scotland are joining forces with the Scottish Government and Moray's major businesses to discuss the review's impact and agree joint actions in response.
The meeting will take place in Elgin's Mansion House Hotel tomorrow morning (Wednesday 20 October).
Alex Paterson, Chief Executive of Highlands and Islands Enterprise, said:
"Moray is heavily reliant on defence, with the RAF bases at Kinloss and Lossiemouth supporting around 5,710 jobs and contributing more than £158m to the local economy every year.
"The changes outlined in the Prime Minister's statement and the UK Government White Paper will undoubtedly have an impact, but the extent of that impact is uncertain at present.
"Along with colleagues in the Scottish Government, we will be pressing the MoD for more detail as early as possible.
"In particular, we need to know what the timescale is for running down the RAF presence in Kinloss, and what opportunities might exist for alternative uses.
"We also need more information on the size of reduction planned for the Tornado fleet, particularly if that would affect Lossiemouth.
"We welcome the clear indication that the Government is committed to listen with communities affected by the outcome of the review.
"We will use that opportunity to present a robust case for retaining a strong defence presence in the county, with both bases continuing to play an effective role."
Councillor George McIntyre, the convener of Moray Council said: "This announcement is a crushing blow, particularly to the Kinloss and Forres area which has a long association with RAF Kinloss and where the civilian and service communities are closely intertwined.
"However, I can give an absolute assurance that Moray Council will work closely with its partners to ensure that everything possible is done to minimise the impact of the Kinloss decision on the local economy and on the lives of local people.
"There is a sizeable pool of highly skilled people working at the air station and we must do all that we can to retain those skills in the area and consider how they can be put to best use.
"Disappointing though today's news is, it is vital that we remain positive and work together to forge a new way ahead for Moray.
"Moray has a broad range of well-established businesses both large and small. It has strengths that can be matched to emerging growth areas, such as renewable energy, and it will remain a good place to live learn and work.
"Moray Council, HIE and other partners will be working tirelessly to help Moray recover from this body blow and weather the storm.
"In conjunction with HIE and our other partners, we will be seeking urgent meetings with ministers, both in London and Edinburgh, to lobby for government support for the Moray economy and to explore opportunities for new investment and employment."
Back to latest actions ».
01 July 2011Next Task Force meeting»
23 June 2011HIE speed networking event»
09 June 2011Event - International Business Development »
07 June 2011Event - How to get to £5m in 5 years»
16 May 2011Community rising to the challenge»
14 May 2011Life in Operations»
08 May 2011Your invitation to a unique celebration»
20 April 2011PM visits Task Force in Inverness»
15 April 2011Moray Task Force met to share latest activities. »
14 April 2011Sandy Park, Convener of Highland Council, visited RAF Lossiemouth. »
10 March 2011Make it Moray brings energy to the region»
04 March 2011Next task force meeting»
03 March 2011Scotland Office visit»
02 March 2011Lossiemouth Squadron to be Disbanded»
19 February 2011Moray people celebrate RAF homecoming»
18 February 2011Work Club launch»
17 February 2011Shadow Scottish Secretary comes to Moray.»
16 February 2011Enterprise Minister Jim Mather returns to Moray »
14 February 2011Children of Moray show their support»
11 February 2011Next task force meeting»
02 February 2011Work club set up»
28 January 2011Moray Chamer of Commerce event»
28 January 2011Next meeting of task force»
27 January 2011Armed Forces Minister coming to Moray»
12 January 2011The Northern Scot People's Petition is handed in to Downing Street.»
11 January 2011Battle bus goes to London»
10 January 2011Enterprise Minister Jim Mather comes to Moray »
17 December 2010What's next?»
17 December 2010MoD, Treasury and task force meeting. »
10 December 2010BBC's Big Debate - CANCELLED due to adverse weather conditions. »
08 December 2010First Minister explores Scottish Government support for Moray»
07 December 2010HIE conducting survey of creative industries in Moray»
06 December 2010Follow up on public agency stakeholders meeting »
06 December 2010Business event»
03 December 2010Moray task force launches survey to gauge impact of defence cuts on local businesses»
25 November 2010Task force meet MoD and Treasury officials »
17 November 2010Task force meet with wider community»
15 November 2010Task force meet Scottish Government representatives»
12 November 2010Next task force meeting to plan long term strategy »
10 November 2010Meeting being arranged with Liam Fox MP in London»
08 November 2010Thousands march to save RAF Lossiemouth »
07 November 2010First Minister and other Party leaders to attend rally»
07 November 2010Turnout at Lossiemouth rally 'a strong message to the MoD'»
05 November 2010Moray campaigners take 'compelling case' for RAF Lossiemouth to Westminster»
05 November 2010Partnership action agreed to mitigate Moray economic blow»
04 November 2010Community leaders to meet with the task force »
03 November 2010Private members' debate in the Scottish Parliament»
02 November 2010New business line has been set up for companies planning for the future»
29 October 2010Sub-group established to support task force develop submission to MoD»
28 October 2010Local activation of PACE»
28 October 2010John Swinney makes emergency parliamentary statement»
27 October 2010First Minister writes to Defence Secretary»
27 October 2010Northern Scot launches a campaign to collate signatures »
21 October 2010The Moray task force meet the First Minister »
20 October 2010The Moray task force is set up»