Former diplomat to chair steamer charity
Mr Naysmith, formerly Scotland’s representative in Washington DC and a senior civil servant in the Scottish Government, will lead the Loch Lomond Steamship Company as it enters the next stage of a £7m journey to get the Maid of the Loch sailing again.
“Our aim is to restore the Maid of the Loch as a fully operational paddle steamer with all the economic benefits that it will bring to Loch Lomond and to Scotland,” he said.
“She is a national treasure with a fascinating history and an important place in Scotland’s rich maritime history. When fully restored and operational, the Maid will be a huge visitor attraction for Loch Lomond and the surrounding area.”
He added: “Having raised £1.9m to date, the challenge for the charity now is, by fundraising nationally and internationally, to recreate an authentic 1950s cruising experience, surrounded by world class scenery on the bonnie, bonnie banks.
“Fully operational, the Maid of the Loch will create at least 25 jobs and attract an additional 95,000 visitors a year to Loch Lomond, a significant economic bonus to local communities and businesses. This is a hugely exciting project and I hope it will appeal to friends of Scotland all over the world.”
Malcolm Roughead, chief executive of VisitScotland, said: “I’m sure Robin’s vast experience and international connections will help ensure the project is steered to a successful conclusion.”