Richard Lochhead

Moray SNP News



SNP representatives in Moray have questioned The Moray Council’s Independent/Tory Administration’s commitment to their economic strategy after they voted against an SNP motion to provide grant funding for Elgin Museum.

The Moray Society, who run Elgin Museum, had applied for funding to invest in various activities in the museum to boost visitor numbers and help to increase future income levels but in a tight vote Administration Councillors rejected the application by 7 votes to 6.

SNP Group Leader Gary Coull, who proposed that the grant should be awarded, said afterwards:

“Independent and Tory Councillors voted against this today saying it was a low priority and that the money could be used elsewhere, yet these are the same councillors who shouted about the Moray Economic Strategy, which includes Tourism and Culture as a key part of that. Not only that, the money that was refused had already been allowed for in the current budget year!

“Elgin Museum is widely recognised as being of a very high standard and is recognised as a four star attraction by the Scottish Tourist Board. It is also Scotland’s oldest independent museum. Given these significant accolades it is very short-sighted not to support them, not least because of the wider economic benefit that having a top quality museum brings to Elgin and Moray.

“It is very disappointing that the Council’s Independent/Tory Administration voted against this support and I sincerely hope that the museum can identify an alternative funder.”

Richard Lochhead MSP said:

“We all recognise that times are tough for public services with austerity budgets from Westminster but we cannot allow our cultural heritage to wither away, not least when the money that was refused was already budgeted for by the Council.

“This will be a blow for the Moray Society’s plans and I think the Council’s Administration should have taken a more positive view of their grant application.

“The amounts being asked for spread over three years were not enormous but could have made a significant difference to the Museum’s potential to grow it’s visitor numbers and income.”