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Forres given share of £1.5m fund for town centre regeneration

The town of Forres

Forres is to get a share of £1,500,000 funding allocated for town centre regeneration and a business grant scheme.

This year’s funding includes money for town centre regeneration projects in the town, as well as Aberlour, Buckie, Dufftown and Keith, where town centre improvement plans (TCIP’s) have already been prepared.

And town centre businesses will be share £268,000 through a grant scheme opening soon.

Pop-ups and start-ups

This initiative will support business start-ups and pop up shops, and bring vacant premises back into use. It can also be drawn down for the sub-dividing of commercial properties.

The funding criteria for applicants will be published on Moray Council’s website soon.­­­­­­

The council will also shortly be carrying out a survey to find out what people think of Moray town centres and what changes are needed to improve them.

Depute chair of Moray Council’s Planning and Regulatory Services Committee, Cllr Marc Macrae, said: “This is an extremely challenging for our town centres but this funding allocation is a positive and I welcome the investment and the work that’s been undertaken by the council to seek the much-needed funding for improvements.

“It seems likely that our town centres continue to face an uphill battle which is why it’s so important we continue to think creatively about how best the council can maximise the impacts of its efforts to support them.”

Breakdown of allocated funding for 2023/24:

Economic Recovery Fund: £200,000 for Forres, Aberlour, Buckie, Dufftown and Keith.

Town Centre Capital Fund: £35,000 for regeneration and economic growth in Forres.

Scottish Government Place Based Improvement Fund: £466,000 for South Street, Elgin; town centre signage across Moray; conservation area grant schemes; and business grants.

UK Shared Prosperity Fund: £195,000 for Town Centre Officer for the Moray Town Centre Taskforce led by the Moray Chamber of Commerce; Plainstones Fountain restoration; Forres Heritage and Conservation Scheme; and business grants.

Breakdown of allocated funding for 2024/25:

UK Shared Prosperity Fund: £670,000 for Forres Heritage and Conservation Scheme; small-scale public realm and partnership projects; and business grants.