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SNH director hired

Halfhide takes interim role at South of Scotland Enterprise

Nick Halfhide: listening (pic: Scottish Natural Heritage)

An interim chief executive has been appointed to the new agency which is regenerating the south of Scotland’s economy.

Nick Halfhide,  director of sustainable growth at Scottish Natural Heritage, will take on the South of Scotland Enterprise (SOSE) role from 3 February until a permanent appointment is made.

Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing said:“Today’s announcement marks an important step in our commitment to delivering  the new enterprise agency for the south of Scotland.  

“With his understanding of Scotland’s rural economy as well as his organisational and leadership experience, Nick Halfhide brings the right mixture of skills to the role of interim chief executive.  Nick will help to ensure SOSE is effective from the outset and able to deliver on our ambitions for the future of the south of Scotland.”

Mr Halfhide said: “I am determined to build a new development agency that listens and responds to what the communities in the South of Scotland need.”

South of Scotland Enterprise chairman Russel Griggs said:  “I want to welcome Nick to this key leadership role as we continue to progress our ambitious aims for the South of Scotland. 

“With a strong track record in building teams and engaging with communities, Nick has the skill and knowledge we need now to turn the new agency into reality. 

“I look forward to working with Nick to build a capable and responsive organisation, providing the support that businesses and communities across the south of Scotland so richly deserve.”

However, South Scotland Labour MSP and the party’s rural economy spokesman Colin Smyth, criticised the failure to appoint a permanent CEO.

“The failure to appoint a permanent chief executive after an open recruitment process last year leaves us in the bizarre position of a new interim boss setting up and appointing his own team and structure, only for a new permanent boss to come in a few months later who has had no say over those decisions,” he said.

“What is crucial is that Mr Halfhide gives an early commitment that the new agency will be accountable to the South of Scotland not ministers in Edinburgh because we need local solutions to the local challenges facing the economy in the south.”

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