Moray MP Douglas Ross says he was “delighted” to welcome Scotland Office Minister John Lamont MP to his constituency on Friday for a series of meetings and visits.
Douglas welcomed the minister to Forres – where his constituency office is based in the town’s High Street – to meet local organisations and businesses and find out more about how UK Government investment is “boosting” Forres.
The pair were joined by General Election candidate for the new Moray West, Nairn and Strathspey seat, Forres ward councillor and Moray Council leader Kathleen Robertson.
The visits started at Forres Town Hall, where the minister was with Douglas and Kathleen to meet with the Forres Area Community Trust and find out more about how the UK Government’s £300,000 Community Ownership Funding is helping the trust with their town hall regeneration project.
They then headed to local football club Forres Mechanics ground Mosset Park, with the club being awarded £53,950 in UK Government funding to install floodlights as part of a commitment from the UK Government to invest in grassroot sports across the United Kingdom.
Then they headed to aerospace company Orbex who secured over £6 million worth of funding in 2021 from the European Space Agency - which is backed by the UK Government - to help develop plans for rocket launches from a Highland Spaceport.
The day was rounded off with a meeting with Moray Council, the Moray Chamber of Commerce and Highlands and Islands Enterprise to find out about the current challenges they are facing and how the UK Government can help support their funding priorities.
Douglas says the visit of the minister was “positive and constructive” and he was pleased to show him first-hand about how the UK Government are delivering for Moray.
Moray MP Douglas Ross said: “I was delighted to have the opportunity to welcome Scotland Office Minister and my friend and good colleague John Lamont MP to Forres.
“The UK Government have shown how they are fully committed to investing in Forres and Moray and it was great to hear directly alongside John as well as council leader Kathleen Robertson from organisations who are benefitting from that funding.
“In particular, the £300,000 awarded from the UK Government as part of their Community Ownership Fund to help regenerate Forres Town Hall has given the group a real boost.
“The visits and meetings were positive and constructive and I am fully committed to continuing the engagement with UK Government ministers like John Lamont to ensure that funding is delivered directly to Forres and right across Moray. I look forward to welcoming him to the area again soon.”
Scotland Office Minister John Lamont MP said: “It was great to head to Moray and join Douglas and Kathleen in meetings and visits alongside local organisations, businesses and key stakeholders.
“The UK Government are committed to levelling up all parts of our United Kingdom and we’ve shown that through our investment in communities like Forres and organisations like the Community Trust and Forres Mechanics Football Club who are at the heart of the local area.
“The plans to regenerate Forres Town Hall are extremely exciting and we always want to do more to encourage people into grassroots sports.
“It was also good to have the opportunity to visit local aerospace company Orbex and hear about their ambitious plans to be part of a Highland Spaceport.
“And the day was rounded off with an important meeting with the council, the Chambers of Commerce and Highlands and Islands Enterprise and I’ve come away with a whole host of ideas as to how the UK Government can help meet their challenges.
“Douglas and Kathleen are real champions for Moray and I look forward to continuing working with them.”
Moray Council leader and General Election Candidate Kathleen Robertson said: “It was fantastic to be able to join Douglas and John as the minister spent the day in Forres.
“As the council leader, the investment from the UK Government at the heart of our community in Forres and elsewhere in Elgin in recent months has been a real shot in the arm for the local economy.
“Getting the opportunity to discuss with a UK Government minister directly about the challenges we face as a local council to support local people and communities was extremely helpful.
“It is always great to welcome UK Government ministers to the area and I look forward to seeing John again soon as funding continues to benefit places across Moray.”