NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Meeting over jobs and economy in Moray amid RAF fears

Tornado jets at RAF Lossiemouth
Image caption There are fears about the long-term future of RAF Lossiemouth

A conference aimed at creating new jobs in Moray amid fears over the future of the RAF in the area has been held.

The closure of RAF Kinloss as an air base has already been confirmed as a result of the cancellation of new Nimrod orders last year.

The future of neighbouring RAF Lossiemouth remains uncertain.

Enterprise Minister Jim Mather led the event at Horizon Business Park in Forres for members of the Moray business community.

It was organised by Moray Chamber of Commerce.

Mr Mather said: "This conference follows a successful event held in Forres in early January.

"It was clear from that event that, despite the challenges presented to the region by closure of RAF Kinloss and the uncertainty about RAF Lossiemouth, the community of Moray is united and working hard for the future.

"This further event will stimulate discussion and debate, and, very importantly, it will identify the best ways to grow the economy and support the effective creation of new jobs."

'Open for business'

Moray Chamber of Commerce chief executive Lesley Ann Parker said: "The opportunity to bring people together is to be welcomed.

"It will not only stimulate discussion about the best ways to grow the economy but it also shows the strength of commitment which exists in the business and local community here.

"There is a great deal happening in Moray - from food and drink to tourism, renewable energy and new technology. There is little doubt that people are rising to the challenge and ensuring Moray is definitely open for business."

A decision on the future of RAF Lossiemouth, and that of RAF Leuchars in Fife, will be announced after the Scottish elections on 5 May.

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