Harper Macleod chairman steps up to rural and enterprise challenges

Professor Lorne Crerar, chairman of Harper Macleod, joined fellow members of the National Council of Rural Advisers – of which he is co-chair - in delivering the body’s interim report on the potential implications of Brexit for Rural Scotland.

The report outlines potential issues in crucial areas for the sector, including labour, trade, funding, legislation and standards. It also identifies key points to be considered further in terms of what government should seek to achieve for the sector post Brexit.

Professor Crerar was appointed co-chair of the new council in June this year, along with Alison Milne. The panel, which is made up of 14 people drawn from across the sector, is due to submit a more detailed set of recommendations to Ministers next spring.

The news came a day after Professor Crerar was unveiled as a member of the new Enterprise and Skills Strategic Board, which has been tasked with maximising output from public sector investment in these areas. The board will align and co-ordinate the activities of Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Skills Development Scotland and the Scottish Funding Council.

Professor Crerar, who is also the chairman of Highlands and Islands Enterprise, carried out a report on the Scottish government’s Enterprise and Skills review earlier this year, recommending the creation of a strategic board among other recommendations which were accepted in whole.

Economy Secretary Keith Brown welcomed the announcement of the board’s advisory panel as a significant step forward in adopting a new approach to the delivery of skills and business support.

He said: “The Strategic Board for Enterprise and Skills will ensure that we are really maximising the benefits of our investment in Scotland’s businesses, innovators and entrepreneurs. The members of the board have been chosen specifically for their expertise, both in their industrial and geographical areas.”