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Black steps up at Highlands and Islands Enterprise

Moving up: Stuart Black

Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) has promoted one of its lead managers, Stuart Black, to chief executive.

Dr Black, who takes up the post in January, has led the agency’s Moray team since February 2020. Earlier this year, he took on additional responsibility as HIE’s lead area manager, co-ordinating the work of eight teams around the region.

Originally from Inverness, he is a graduate of the universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow, where he gained a doctorate in town and regional planning.

He began his career with the University of Aberdeen, before joining HIE for the first time in 1996, as head of economics. Between then and 2008, he held several posts covering different parts of the organisation’s remit. These included local enterprise company chief executive, director of strengthening communities, and director of global connections.

From 2008 to 2020, he was a member of the senior team at the Highland Council, initially as director of planning and development, and later as executive chief officer for transformation and economy.

Economy secretary Kate Forbes said: “I have had the privilege of working with him in the past, and I look forward to strengthening our working relationship.”

HIE board member Paddy Crerar, who was a member of the recruitment panel, said: “The position attracted interest from some very fine applicants based across the UK and overseas, and we followed a rigorous selection process, including all shortlisted candidates giving a presentation to the full HIE Board.

“The recruitment panel were unanimous in agreeing that Stuart Black has all the qualities we need to take HIE into the next phase of its development and strengthen our local economies throughout the Highlands and Islands.”



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