On 10th March the Findhorn Foundation was for the first time publically recognised for its role in not only significantly boosting the local economy but in raising the quality of life in the Moray district of Scotland and in the wider Highlands and Islands region.
In the report of a study commissioned by Moray Badenoch and Strathspey Enterprise and carried out independently by Brian Burns and economist Steve Westbrook, it is noted that the Foundation is a key player in the Highlands and Islands economy, generating over £5 million in local household income and supporting over 400 jobs.
The report notes that the Foundation attracts many residents and visitors to an area which does not have a significant tourism profile, helping to sustain services and community life in Findhorn and Forres and broadening the area’s skill base.
It commends the Foundation for its implementation of innovative sustainable development policies and practices, including the Ecovillage Project, and its entrepreneurial support of new business ventures and expansions in Moray. The Foundation’s support of the Moray Steiner School was appreciated as it helps to diversify education in the area, and the Universal Hall was also valued as a superb local venue for a range of cultural events.
It is satisfying after 40 years to receive this acknowledgement that we are making a contribution to the local area, not only economically, but on social, educational, cultural and environmental levels, especially since the Findhorn Foundation’s exploration of new ways of living which express spiritual values in daily life has often been questioned in the past.
As Geoffrey Colwill, the Foundation’s finance director says, “Although our status worldwide is high, as demonstrated by our role working with the United Nations, our local standing and relationships have often provided some of our greatest challenges. This report is a further step in improving our local connections and identifying areas of mutual benefit where we can work more closely with individuals and organisations in the area.”
It is heartening that the report recognises the Foundation’s significant impact and promising that it sees its huge potential in developing consultancy work opportunities in northern Scotland linked to economic and social development programmes.
It is exciting that the report recommends that a joint Foundation/MBSE Business Development Manager be appointed to create and implement a three year business support programme for the Foundation and associated businesses and organisations to raise awareness of Foundation activities, improve its economic viability and maximise the use of its buildings and the skills of its staff to enhance and enrich the local area.
We at the Findhorn Foundation look forward to the development of links between the community and the mainstream so that what the report names as our expertise in managing conflict, ecobuilding, renewable energy and many other areas can be used for the benefit of the whole.
For further information email Richard Coates at