Property developer Chris Stewart will tonight take over as chairman of the trade organisation for Scotland’s £6 billion commercial property sector.
The entrepreneur, who has worked in the industry for two decades, succeeds Winchburgh Developments chief executive John Hamilton at the helm of the Scottish Property Federation (SPF).
Stewart’s eponymous property development group – which has won accolades for its Advocate’s Close redevelopment in Edinburgh’s Old Town – recently paid £5.1 million for a collection of buildings off Glasgow’s iconic George Square, which will be revamped to include serviced apartments, retail units and student flats.
“Scotland’s real estate industry is a vital contributor to the economy,” said Stewart, currently vice-chairman of the SPF.
“That said, the economic reality is that building new homes, hotels and much-needed office accommodation relies increasingly on international capital funding. If Scotland is to attract such capital in a competitive market our planning, tax and policy frameworks must all work to one cohesive vision.”
He added: “I look forward to promoting the benefits of supporting the industry to government and taking up the challenge to help drive further economic development in Scotland’s towns and cities.”
Paul Curran, managing director of the Quartermile urban regeneration scheme in Edinburgh, is to become the SPF’s new vice-chairman.
SPF director David Melhuish said: “Since the Scottish referendum there have been a number of significant policy changes that affect the real estate industry, and with the Scottish parliamentary elections next year, there will no doubt be more to come. We look forward to working with Chris to further ensure the growth and success of our industry.”