Forres Area Business Association to work for the community

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A GROUP of local business people are to continue with a new name and set up.

Forres Business Association will now be known as the Forres Area Business Association (FABA), reflecting that it is working with and for businesses across the area to benefit the community.

FABA will be formed as a community interest company after a unanimous decision at the organisation’s extraordinary general meeting on Tuesday, April 28.

A steering group was set up to explore how the association could continue and the findings were presented to the meeting attended by 21 organisations.

Owner of the Knockomie Inn, Gavin Ellis, one of seven local business owners on the steering group is delighted the association will continue in its new form.

He said: “It was a vibrant meeting also attended by councillors and representatives from other organisations. This is a big opportunity to re-build our community following the last year. By working together we can make things happen. The Forres area has so much opportunity we can tap into and expand on all the great things happening in and around our town to the benefit of the people working and living here and for future generations to come.”

Gavin, who also owns businesses on the Isle of Mull, added: “The FABA will be about having a collective voice, developing business opportunities which will in turn benefit the community and networking in different ways to benefit each other. Ultimately though, it will be the members who decide what the FABA will achieve.”

Work will now be carried out to get FABA registered as a community interest company.

Six out of the seven members of the steering group have agreed to stay on as founding board members. They are Joanna Taylor, Claire Doughty, Graham Murdoch, Shaun Moat, Carrie Custodio and Gavin Ellis.

Alan James, who chaired the meeting, has stepped down from the steering group due to other business commitments.

Joanna Taylor, who has played a pivotal role in researching the best way to set up, said: “Now that we have the go-ahead to formally set up FABA as a community interest company the real work begins.

“The process will be to get the formalities out of the way, create an enthusiastic board and attract members who themselves bring ideas and campaigns that the FABA can take forward.

“I’d like to thank Alan for his input on the steering group. His wealth of experience at running AJ Engineering and his devotion to the Forres community proved invaluable in finding a way forward for FABA.”