Experienced leaders from business, academia, third sector and trade unions have been brought together by the Scottish Government to help deliver economic growth in Scotland.

The 12 experts, with professional experience of “delivering results” in their fields, have been appointed to the new delivery board promised in the National Strategy for Economic Transformation.

Economy secretary Kate Forbes will co-chair the group, alongside Barry White, who has held senior leadership roles in the private and public sectors including as a former chief executive of the Scottish Futures Trust.

The board will work to implement the strategy, published in March, which identifies five key priority programmes as having the “greatest potential” to deliver economic growth.

These are stimulating entrepreneurship, developing the modern skills needed for the decade ahead, opening new markets, increasing productivity, and ensuring “fairer and more equal” economic opportunities.

Ms Forbes said: “When I launched the National Strategy for Economic Transformation, I promised an enhanced and ruthless focus on delivery. The Delivery Board ensures greater accountability, more streamlined activity and a renewed drive to delivery Scotland’s economic ambitions as we recover from the Covid pandemic, and secure a just transition to a net zero economy.

“This is a board of experienced leaders, appointed because of their professional experience in delivering results across the public, private and third sectors. They will bring their vast knowledge, credibility and connections across the business community and expertise in delivering major initiatives to help shape the vital changes required to help transform our economy.”

She added: “I look forward to working alongside all board members and delivery partners to make the Scottish economy more prosperous, more productive and more internationally competitive by 2032.”

White said: “I am delighted to co-chair the newly formed board. The board will play a prominent role in creating a new culture of delivery and accountability where the responsibilities for the delivery of the National Strategy for Economic Transformation will be clearly allocated and accepted by delivery partners.

“In its work the board must always remember that companies, workers, and entrepreneurs have a choice where they locate and invest. To grow the economy, to achieve net zero and to improve opportunities we need them to want to choose Scotland.”

Members of the delivery board include Gillian Docherty, chief commercial officer at University of Strathclyde and former chief executive of The Data Lab and now, and Colette Cohen, chief executive of Aberdeen-based The Net Zero Technology Centre.

Other new members are:

  • Ewan Aitken – Chief executive of Cyrenians
  • Audrey Cumberford – Principal and chief executive of Edinburgh College
  • Roz Foyer – General secretary of Scottish Trade Union Congress
  • Uzma Khan – Vice principal economic development and innovation, and deputy chief operating officer of University of Glasgow
  • Sir Simon Lister – Managing director of BAE Systems Naval Ships
  • Jamie McGowan – Managing director of Essence of Harris
  • Douglas Millican – Chief executive of Scottish Water
  • Nora Senior – Executive chair UK Regions/Ireland of Weber Shandwick
  • Ellis Watson – Chair of DC Thomson

The board replaces the Enterprise and Skills Strategic Board, with an enhanced remit to hold all partners to account for delivery of the commitments in the National Strategy.

For more on economic development apply to join tomorrow’s morning Digital Economy Briefing Event at Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh.