Scottish Land & Estates appoints three to regional structure
Rural business organisation Scottish Land & Estates (SLE) has announced three new appointments to its regional network.
Mairi MacLeod Coleman has been appointed at the new chair of the Highland region, with Rob Whitson becoming vice-chair. In SLE’s Central region, Antony Gifford has been selected as the new chair of the regional committee.
Ms Coleman becomes Highland chair with 15 years’ experience in the banking industry, working in international strategy and human resources.
She has recently joined her family’s business, MacLeod Construction and Achnaba Estate and is based full-time in Lochgilphead, Argyll. She is also the vice-chair of Live Argyll and the chair of Young Enterprise Scotland in Argyll.
Ms Coleman succeeds Gordon Robertson, who has served as Highland chair for more than 15 years.
Mr Gifford spent over 20 years as a portfolio manager, working for various investment firms in London and New York, before he and his family relocated to Angus to manage his family estate, Kinnordy, which has a range of activities including farming, forestry, residential accommodation and country sports.
He will become chair of the region in November when Hugh Campbell-Adamson completes his time in post.
Meanwhile, Mr Whitson enjoyed a successful military career, completing his service as a Major in the Royal Dragoon Guards in 2006.
On leaving the Army, Mr Whitson qualified as a commercial surveyor and since 2010 and been working in rural practice surveying and now leads property consultancy Bell Ingram’s business in the north.
Mark Tennant, chairman of Scottish Land & Estates, said: “Mairi, Antony and Rob are very welcome additions to the SLE regional team and they will play a crucial role in ensuring the views of our members are well represented.
“All three will bring energy and expertise to their positions and will build on the excellent work of Gordon and Hughie who conclude their time in post with our thanks and gratitude.”
Commenting on her appointment, Ms Coleman said: “I’m really passionate about helping to address important issues in our rural areas such as housing and skills and training opportunities.
“There are unique challenges for rural Scotland and Scottish Land & Estates members are already playing their part in helping to positively address those. I’m looking forward to working with businesses in the Highland region to build our contribution even further.”
Mr Gifford said: “Rural estates are at the forefront of Scotland’s contribution towards tackling the climate emergency, whether that be through increased woodland planting or restoring our peatlands.
“This is also a time of substantial change for our farming businesses, with a replacement for the Common Agricultural Policy imminent, and I’m pleased to be able to take up this role and help SLE members to adjust to the changes ahead.”
Mr Whitson said: “I’m acutely aware of the diverse political and environmental issues to contend with for those who manage land in the Highland region. Land-based businesses are crucial in delivering for our economy and communities and I’m looking forward to providing help and advice to these enterprises and supporting Mairi in her new role as chair.”