He takes over from Robert Muir who retired from the post at the end of April after 28 years with HIE. Originally from Fort William, Alastair achieved an honours degree in Economics at Heriot Watt University and has more than 20 years’ experience in economic and community development in the Highlands and Islands.
He began his career with HIE in 1997 working on the European-funded LEADER 2 programme based in Fort William and was later the organisation’s head of planning and partnerships for 13 years.
Alastair has played a key role in a wide range of developments across the Highlands and Islands working closely with public and private stakeholders. In his most recent role at HIE as programme manager for Lochaber, he was responsible for the agency’s involvement in maximising the benefits from a series of planned major investments in and around Fort William.
Commenting on his new role, Alastair said:
“I am delighted to be taking up this role, leading the Lochaber, Skye and Wester Ross team albeit at a very challenging time for businesses, social enterprises and communities. Over the next few months we will work to support them to adapt and respond as best as they can to the COVID-19 situation.
“Collaboration is the most effective means of strengthening the economy and community resilience of the LSWR area. I look forward to working with the team and our partners in the weeks ahead to support businesses and communities through this difficult time and in the longer term.”
Carroll Buxton, HIE interim chief executive, said:
“Alastair has many years of senior experience in economic and community development across the region, which will be vital for this job. With his invaluable knowledge and strong relationships he has built with many partners, he is well placed to lead the area team and I am very pleased he has taken on the role.”
Recruitment to fill the area manager post on a permanent basis will get underway once the present COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted.