|Welcome to This is Moray 11 Mar 2011|
Moray Business & Industry
An overview of Business and industry within the Unitary Authority of Moray
(See links to local business groups below)
The traditional industries contributing to the economy of Moray, such as agriculture, fishing and forestry, have tended to reflect the abundance of natural resources within the county of Moray. Moray is still an agricultural area and is blessed with rich fertile land, and has a wonderful coastline as well as large areas of managed forestry. In recent times, however, other industry sectors have overtaken the traditional industries and are thriving in the Moray area.
Moray, in common with other rural parts of the North of Scotland, had been an area of static or declining population. In recent years, however, with people looking for a better quality of life and a safe environment to raise their families, Moray has experienced a dramatic rise in population, which stands now at just under 90,000. Many of the individuals who have re-located to Moray have found employment in support of the offshore oil and gas industries as well as benefiting from the huge economic growth of the Inverness area which is within commuting distance of many parts of Moray. Others work within existing business sectors throughout the area as well as starting new business and contributing to the diversity of business types within the Moray area.
Public Administration, Education and Health
According to HIE figures from 2005, the dominant sector relating to employment in the area is "public administration, education and health" which employs around 34.6% of the total workforce. This dominance is due to a high concentration of public bodies in the Moray area, including two large RAF bases, The Moray Council, Moray College and Doctor Grays Hospital.
In 2005, RAF Lossiemouth in conjunction with its neighbour RAF Kinloss contributed £156.5 million (including civilian expenditure) to the Moray economy, of which £76.6 million was retained and spent locally.
Distribution and Hospitality
The high level of dependance on the tourism and hospitality industry within Moray is demonstrated by the fact that the next highest area of employment in the Moray area is the "distribution, hotels and restaurants" sector which, again according to 2005 HIE figures, employs a further 25.2% of the total workforce.
The manufacturing sector in Moray is incredibly strong and the employment level at 15.3% in this category is much higher than would be expected in what is effectively a rural area. Industry types within this sector are Food and Drink, Textiles, Wood, Paper and Metal manufacturing as well as a variety of smaller manufacturing businesses which help to make up the total.
The food and drink industries lead the manufacturing sector and this category employs around 3,500 people. The reason for the dominance of food and drink manufacturing relates to the fact that there is a huge concentration of over 50 distilleries (around half of Scotland's total) in the area, as well as the presence of well known food brands such as Baxters of Speyside and Walkers of Aberlour.
There are a variety of other manufacturing categories within the Moray area. Moray has a history in the textile industry, and the luxury cashmere producing brand, Johnstons, has had its manufacturing headquarters in the town of Elgin in Moray since 1797.
Tourism is of great importance to the Moray area and is a growth area in a part of Scotland which has a huge amount to offer to travellers from overseas or from nearer to home. Around 700,000 visitors spend around 2,000,000 days in the area per annum and contribute around £90,000,000 to the local economy, creating employment for approximately 3,500 people.
Moray has much to offer tourists, due to its situation between the Cairngorm mountains in the south, and the beautiful sandy coastline of the Moray Firth in the north. Moray benefits from an abundance of long stretches of unspoiled golden beaches, dotted by picturesque fishing villages along the coast. There is a large population of interesting wildlife including bottlenose dolphins which can be viewed from shore or by boat.
Moray is a top destination for sea fishing, as well as Salmon and Trout fishing on the world famous River Spey and the River Findhorn. There are eight 5 star visitor attractions in the area as well as 16 golf courses, including a famous championship links course at Lossiemouth. There are activities such as horse riding, mountain biking, walking, field sports, hiking, hill walking, climbing, camping and caravanning, sailing, diving, water skiing and winter skiing. Moray is the county of Macbeth and is steeped in history, with a wealth of castles, historical buildings and sites to explore. Moray is whisky country and has the only Malt Whisky Trail in the world, which is a unique selling point for the area.
Moray is also central to areas such as Inverness and Loch Ness in the west and Royal Deeside in the east, and so is an ideal location for day trips to many other areas in the North East of Scotland or in the Highlands.
In addition to the areas of economic input mentioned above, there are many other sectors of business, industry and commerce which contribute to the economy of Moray. These are business categories such as Construction, Transport and Communications, Fiancial Institutions, Energy and Water, IT and a variety of other services.
It is interesting to note that although businesses with 100 or more employees provide a larger percentage of jobs in Moray than in surrounding areas, for reasons explained above, around 58% of the local population are employed by small or medium business enterprises with 49 or fewer employees.
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