A STRIKING sculpture of an RAF Tornado was today unveiled at the new Enterprise Park in Forres to mark Moray’s long and proud association with the Royal Air Force.
The four metre bronze sculpture was officially unveiled by Wing Commander David Arthurton from RAF Lossiemouth and former Group Captain James Johnston who was the last Station Commander at RAF Kinloss before its closure and transition to an Army Barracks.
The £47,800 sculpture, commissioned by Highlands and Islands Enterprise, was created by Scotland’s largest fine art foundry, Black Isle Bronze, based in Nairn.
David Oxley, Moray area manager for HIE, said: “This unique artwork marks Moray’s proud association with the RAF. We believe that the history and impact of the RAF across Moray is something to be celebrated and this piece reflects that. The quality of the work is in keeping with the park’s already excellent reputation as the premier provider of business accommodation in Moray. Over the past 18 months HIE has been receiving an unprecedented level of inward investment enquiries for buildings and land opportunities. ”
Wing Commander Arthurton said: ‘The RAF has been integrated with the Moray and Highland communities for many years, and since the 1980s Tornado aircraft have been a familiar sight around the Highlands and Islands. This magnificent sculpture demonstrates the strong links between the community, businesses and the RAF. Having the support of the community in which they serve is an important factor in making our personnel feel valued. Now every time they travel to Forres that factor will be seen in the shape of this fantastic sculpture.’
Former Group Captain Johnston, also praised the sculptural tribute to the RAF. He said: “Much has happened in Moray over the last two years and I am amazed at the resilience and innovation demonstrated by individuals, business and local government.
“For me this sculpture represents all that is fantastic about the region; the setting, the artist’s craft, the manufacture, the great facilitation of HIE, and the unquestionable bond between community and the Armed Forces.”
Over £22 million has been invested by HIE, the Scottish Government and the European Regional Development Fund on the development of the town’s enterprise park.