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Ex-BBC executive to fill SSPO chair

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Atholl Duncan has been appointed as the new chair of the Scottish Salmon Producers' Organisation (SSPO).

An experienced leader and non-executive director, Duncan's previous roles include a five-year stint as head of news and current affairs at BBC Scotland. He has also worked with senior corporate leaders in the Middle East, Europe and the USA to help them with their personal and business development. He is currently the chairman of UK Coaching, the national body for sports coaches, and a former chair of the British Horseracing Authority.

Atholl Duncan has been appointed as chair of the SSPO

The 55-year-old will take up his post on 1 September, replacing Gilpin Bradley, the managing director of Wester Ross Fisheries, who took on the role on a temporary basis two years ago.

Duncan, who's role equates to 30 days a year, said: “It is a great privilege for me to work with a farming sector which is the UK’s leading food exporter and contributes so much in terms of economic and social value. I look forward to helping the sector’s leaders to fulfil their ambitious growth plans and to working with the local communities, politicians and regulators who all have such an important stake in the continued development of Scottish salmon.

“The Scottish farmed salmon sector is world leading today and keen to play an even larger part in the economic development of Scotland in the future. But we fully appreciate the challenges of doing that in a way which is sympathetic to the communities we work in, while embracing the new regulatory and environmental standards being developed wherever the sector operates around the world.”

Bradley said: “We are delighted to have secured Atholl Duncan as the SSPO’s new chair. He will bring his undoubted qualities as a leader, his experience as a manager and his dynamism and drive to this successful Scottish farming sector.”

Julie Hesketh-Laird, chief executive of the SSPO, added: “The SSPO was looking for someone with undoubted leadership skills, a passion for high performance as well as experience of international business and it has found all these qualities in Atholl Duncan.

“I am looking forward to working with him in what promises to be an exciting time for one of the UK’s most successful and innovative food sectors.”