New Board Members Appointed

Non-Executive Members of the Board of Highlands and Islands Enterprise announced

The Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy and Connectivity, Fergus Ewing MP, today announced the appointment of Amanda Bryan, Ailsa Gray, Dr Robert McIntosh and Belinda Oldfield, as Non-Executive Members of the Board of Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

Mr Ewing said:

“I am delighted to welcome four new members to the Board of Highlands and Islands Enterprise. I am sure Highlands and Islands Enterprise will benefit hugely from the wide range of experience and expertise that these appointments bring. It is particularly pleasing to see that we have attracted more female appointments to the Board. I wish all the appointees well in their new posts.”

The Chair of Highlands and Enterprise, Lorne Crerar, said of the appointments:

“It is important that our Board membership reflects the diversity of the modern Highlands and Islands, and I am delighted that we have been able to make such strong appointments.

“Working with Changing the Chemistry, we attracted a large number of high quality applications for these positions, which was extremely gratifying. . Board recruitment is a very rigorous progress, and I am grateful to all those who took the time to express their interest in joining HIE.”

Amanda Bryan is a native of Caithness who has lived, studied and worked in Orkney and the Western Isles and now resides in Strathglass, west of Beauly with her young family. She has considerable hands on experience of all aspects of rural and community development across the Highlands and Islands, social enterprise, land reform and community land ownership. Ms Bryan is currently Forestry Commissioner for Scotland and Chair of the FC’s National Committee for Scotland, Chair of the Isle of Eigg Heritage Trust and a member of Ofcom’s Advisory Committee for Scotland. She also lectures part time at the Scottish School of Forestry and is an active member of Changing the Chemistry an organisation that seeks to increase diversity of thought on Boards. Previous roles include being a member of the board of Scottish Natural Heritage and Community Energy Scotland, being an Advisor to the Scottish Government’s Land Reform Review Group and a member of the BBC’s Audience Council for Scotland.

Ailsa Gray’s background is corporate law and she has had a 20 year career, mostly in the FTSE100, advising boards on corporate law, corporate governance, strategic risk management and business development. Prior to this she worked in London advising companies raising finance and seeking a listing on the London Stock Exchange. She obtained Corp certification for her own business based in Ardnamurchan and is currently working with the local community to establish how business can be used to help solve the social and environmental issues facing them. She also set up her own consultancy, Profits with Purpose Limited, and is working with various businesses and stakeholders helping them to build purpose in to corporate strategy and developing the wider profits with purpose ecosystem.

Dr Robert McIntosh CBE has had a career in forestry and land management. A former Forestry Commissioner, his roles have included Chief Executive of Forest Enterprise, Head of Forestry Commission Scotland and Scottish Government Environment and Forestry Director. He brings a wealth of experience in sustainable land management and rural development.

Belinda Oldfield is a Civil Engineer with a Master's Degree in Business who has long experience in risk and asset management. She is currently a senior leader at Scottish Water with responsibility for corporate risk and revenue management and was a key member of the Scottish Water merger team and has a track record of infrastructure investment delivery gained in both the private and public sectors. Mrs Oldfield has been a shadow Board member of Highlands and Islands Enterprise and a member of the Water Industry Innovation Panel for Scotland. She is a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers, a member of the Institute of Water and current Scottish Area President, and an affiliate member of the Institute of Risk Management. She is also a keen supporter of Women in Science and Engineering.


The appointments are for three years from 1 April 2016 to 31 March 2019. The appointments are part-time and attract a remuneration of £10,065 per annum, paid monthly, based on daily fee of £419 for an average of two days per month.

The appointments are regulated by the Commissioner for Ethical Standards in Public Life in Scotland.

Other Ministerial Appointments

Ms Bryan is a Forestry Commissioner for Scotland and Chair of the National Committee Scotland. She receives £14,577 per annum for a time commitment of 3-4 days each month.

Ms Gray, Dr McIntosh and Mrs Oldfield do not hold any other Ministerial appointments.

Political Activity

All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. However, in accordance with the original Nolan recommendations, there is a requirement for appointees’ political activity within the last five years (if there is any to be declared) to be made public.

None of those being appointed have undertaken any political activity in the last five years.

Notes to editors

HIE is a non-departmental public body of the Scottish Government, with a unique remit which integrates economic and community development. The Highlands and Islands region covers half of Scotland, from Shetland to Argyll and from the Hebrides to Moray, and has a population of almost 470,000. HIE pursues four priorities to achieve sustainable growth. These are supporting businesses and social enterprises to shape and realise their growth aspirations; strengthening communities and fragile areas; developing growth sectors, particularly distinctive regional opportunities; and creating the conditions for a competitive and low carbon region. In addition to its regional impact, HIE manages several Scottish Government initiatives across the whole of Scotland, including Wave Energy Scotland, Community Broadband Scotland and the Scottish Land Fund (in partnership with the Big Lottery Fund). HIE invests around £100 million a year in delivering its remit and employs around 300 people based in locations around the Highlands and Islands.


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