Home   News   Article

Moray MSP Richard Lochhead looks ahead in 2024 following another busy year representing the region

By Garry McCartney

Richard Lochhed outside the Scottish Parliament building. Picture: Andrew Cowan
Richard Lochhed outside the Scottish Parliament building. Picture: Andrew Cowan

AFTER 18 years as Moray’s SNP MSP, Richard Lochhead is looking forward to supporting the area’s communities again in 2024.

However, despite enjoying the role he took on last year, Scottish Government Minister for Small Business, Innovation, Tourism and Trade, Richard Lochhead confirmed 2023 had been a difficult year.

He said: “It was a challenging year in many ways for people living around the globe. The cost-of-living crisis has meant real pressure on household budgets so my constituency team ensures we support constituents who are struggling as much as we can. Rising costs have also hit businesses hard and the public sector has felt the impact too. That has consequences for the economy and vital services we all rely on.

“Internationally, as innocent lives are lost in Israel and Palestine, there’s been strong and sustained support amongst the public for a ceasefire, and my inbox certainly reflects that. The SNP has been leading calls for a ceasefire and pushing for international partners to work together to prevent the loss of more innocent lives.”

Mr Lochhead also highlighted the ongoing conflict in Ukraine following the Russian invasion in 2022

He said: “The Ukrainian people have shown great strength and resilience. I am proud that Scotland has welcomed and supported families that had to flee from their homeland.”

Last year ended with the Scottish Government’s draft budget, leading to fiscal measures including cuts.

Mr Lochhead said: “Spending decisions made by the UK Chancellor sees the Scottish Government having to deliver its most challenging budget in the history of devolution. However, we’ve sought to prioritise investment in our public services, including our NHS.”

Richard Lochhead.
Richard Lochhead.

The Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Food and the Environment from 2007 to 2016 is enjoying his new governmental role.

He said: “It’s been incredible to see first-hand the many outstanding businesses we have across the country and some of the world leading innovation that is happening here, such as at the Glasgow School of Art’s Innovation School at Altyre.

“As a country we have so much potential and I’m looking forward to continuing to work with business, industry, and other partners in the year ahead.”

Mr Lochhead particularly acknowledges the enterprise, energy and success of constituents, organisations and businesses across the region he represents.

He said: “I’m always blown away by what Moray has to offer, the contribution of our local industries to the economy, and the talented people in our communities.”

He showed First Minister Humza Yousaf the local talent in Fochabers last summer during a visit to Speyfest.

Richard Lochhead (left) at the ground-breaking of the Orbex space project in Sutherland.
Richard Lochhead (left) at the ground-breaking of the Orbex space project in Sutherland.

Looking ahead, Mr Lochhead will embrace the challenges and opportunities coming in 2024.

He said: “While it has been a tough year for me as an Aberdeen supporter, it’s been the stuff of dreams for Scotland, as we saw the men’s national team become one of the first to qualify for Euro 2024. To be playing the opening game in Germany against the host nation is just incredible – the whole country will be buzzing and I can’t wait.

“I’m looking forward to another year of working hard for Moray, continuing to support campaign groups including Keep MUM (Maternity Unit for Moray), and to ensure I represent our communities with determination. “

The former economic development officer for Dundee City Council hopes to see improved economic conditions.

He said: “Including continued progress in the delivery of the Moray Growth Deal, which will really benefit our region’s economy.

“And of course we’re all gearing up for a General Election this year. The SNP will be working flat out in the months ahead to win both new Moray seats.”

Do you want to respond to this article? If so, click here to submit your thoughts and they may be published in print.

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies - Learn More