Milestone for plans to create new Moray manufacturing innovation centre

PLANS to create a manufacturing innovation centre in Moray have secured up to £5.6 million capital investment.

The facility is expected to support up to 300 manufacturing jobs in the next ten years.

The board of Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) has approved its funding contribution for the new Manufacturing Innovation Centre Moray (MICM), a Moray Growth Deal project that includes more than £4 million of UK and Scottish Government funding.

The facility will be based on Enterprise Park Forres in a building currently owned by HIE, which will be refurbished with ‘significant’ green credentials and used as a demonstrator for how to retrofit existing buildings to achieve a low carbon footprint.

Once completed, MICM will provide diagnostics, advice, information, signposting, and brokerage services to manufacturing companies across the area. There will be space for business start-up incubation and for existing business to undertake innovation projects, as well as demonstration facilities showcasing advanced technology and equipment.

David Reid, HIE area manager for Moray, said, “MICM is about innovation, growth, productivity, and efficiency in Moray’s indigenous manufacturing companies and increasing the number of manufacturing start-ups in the area. It will encourage more research and development and help attract manufacturing inward investment.

“In a wider sense the new centre will be designed to support the creation of higher paid jobs, improve skills among the workforce, attract and retain more young people, and encourage occupational integration and gender balance. Planning for the project has been a long and detailed process involving many partners and stakeholders and we are grateful to all those who have helped to get things to this stage. We look forward to continuing this close collaboration as we advance the project in the coming months.”