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Highlands freeport hires first chief executive

Calum MacPherson: opportunity

Inverness and Cromarty Firth Green Freeport has appointed its first chief executive as it prepares to lure investment and jobs to the region.

Calum MacPherson, who currently has a UK-wide role as director of capital projects for Robertson Group, will take up his post in August.

A native of Inverness he graduated in law at Aberdeen University and worked in a tax practice in the city, focused primarily on clients in the oil and gas sector.

He returned to the Highlands in November 1999 and spent 12 years in economic development with Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), latterly holding a group-wide senior role as head of operations, then as area manager for Moray.

While at HIE, he chaired the Moray Task Force, which promoted the case for retention of defence jobs in the region and helped retain thousands of defence jobs for the north of Scotland.

Commenting on the appointment, ICFGF chair, Jim Smith, said: “As you would expect, the recruitment for a chief executive for ICFGF was an extensive selection process. We needed someone with the skillset and background to be able to hit the ground running.”

Mr MacPherson said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to lead an organisation that will play a central role in creating exciting careers for people across the Highlands and further afield, attracting large-scale international investment and playing a central role in delivering net-zero; and putting Inverness and the Cromarty Firth firmly on the renewables map globally.

“As a region we need to do all we can to capitalise on this window of opportunity and by close working with consortium partners and stakeholders I’m confident we’ll be in a strong position to secure investment and new high-quality jobs.

“ICFGF has the potential to be a hugely transformative story for local communities in the Highlands and beyond and I look forward to getting started.”

Forth work begins

Forth Ports’ creation of Scotland’s largest renewables hub at the Port of Leith has taken a major step forward with the start of construction works for the riverside marine berth at the port. 

The £50m project will create Scotland’s largest renewable energy hub on a 175-acre site, capable of accommodating the world’s largest offshore wind installation vessels.

The Leith Renewables Hub will be part of the Forth Green Freeport’s tax and customs sites which aim to bring up to 50,000 jobs across the Firth of Forth.

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