Scottish Enterprise names canals boss as new chief executive

Steve Dunlop replaces Lena Wilson, who announced in July that she was stepping down after nearly eight years at the helm. Picture: Contributed
Steve Dunlop replaces Lena Wilson, who announced in July that she was stepping down after nearly eight years at the helm. Picture: Contributed
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Steve Dunlop has been named as the new chief executive of Scottish Enterprise and will receive a lower six-figure salary than his predecessor.

Dunlop will join the economic development agency next month having been chief executive of the Scottish Canals network.

He will replace Lena Wilson, who announced in July that she was stepping down after nearly eight years at the helm.

Dunlop will be on a basic salary of £168,000, while Wilson received £210,000.

Scottish Enterprise said that as a member of the board of VisitScotland and with previous experience of senior leadership roles in the public sector, Dunlop brings with him “a track record of driving inclusive economic growth across the UK”.

During his tenure at Scottish Canals, he oversaw the development of the park area around the iconic Kelpies sculptures in Falkirk and the regeneration surrounding the Forth and Clyde Canal in the north of Glasgow.

Dunlop said: “There has never been a more important time to help Scottish businesses grow and internationalise. At Scottish Enterprise, I look forward to collaborating with other public bodies, the private sector and our world-class academic institutions to help optimise our talent, resources and ambition in ways that genuinely benefit Scotland.”

Scottish Enterprise chairman Bob Keiller said: “Steve joins the organisation at a pivotal time as we implement the recommendations from the Enterprise and Skills Review and look to the future to collaborate with partners to ensure Scotland tackles challenges and maximises economic opportunities ahead.”

Scottish Economy Minister Keith Brown described Dunlop as “a talented leader with a fantastic ability to bring people, partners and stakeholders with him in driving meaningful and sustainable change”.

Brown added: “He is one of the most passionate and entrepreneurial leaders we have in Scotland and I am delighted he has accepted the role to lead Scottish Enterprise working in close collaboration with national and local partners to deliver a more joined up economic development system across Scotland.”

Dunlop, who previously held directorship positions at Newcastle City Council and Falkirk Council, will officially take up the post on 21 May.