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Ideas welcome for a share


By Staff Reporter

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Forres High Street could be in line for redevelopment funding.
Forres High Street could be in line for redevelopment funding.

APPLICATIONS will soon open for a share of a £1.2 million fund to improve town centres in Moray.

Moray Council will welcome applications for turning empty space in Forres, Elgin, Buckie, Lossiemouth and Keith, into living space. Grants of up to 50 per cent of project costs, capped at £150,000, are available for structural works, replacement windows, re-wiring and creating new entrances to properties.

Convener of Moray Council, Cllr Shona Morrison, explained the aim is to breathe new life into town centres for the benefit of residents, visitors and the economy.

She said: "What we want to see are transformational projects that will bring a real benefit to our town centres and settlements. This is a real opportunity for investment in Moray at no cost to the applicant nor the council. Any unspent money will have to be returned to the Scottish Government, so I’d encourage anyone thinking of applying to make sure they meet the application deadline of June 21."

Proposals to install transport hubs in Buckie and Elgin are also being considered. The £25,000 Buckie proposal would see the construction of a bus stop bay facing north on Barhill Road, to improve passenger safety when boarding and disembarking from the bus.

Meanwhile in Elgin the bus station would be transformed into a travel hub, with improved access for pedestrians and vehicles. A PA system would be installed, external lighting enhanced, and replacement seating and canopy. It’s estimated the works would cost £70,000, with match funding potentially identified from HiTrans and Stagecoach.

Smaller settlements with a population of 1,000 or more, which includes Lhanbryde, Burghead, Hopeman, Dufftown, Kinloss, Cullen, Aberlour, Rothes, Portknockie, Findochty and Mosstodloch, are also eligible to apply for money from the fund.

Money is available for improvements to shop fronts, as well as the installation of digital smart systems, for example those monitoring footfall, road traffic, air quality and more.

A roadshow will take place at Forres Town Hall on Monday, May 27 from 4-7pm where those interested in applying for a grant can attend and questions about eligibility and discuss potential projects.



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