By Ian McConnell

FORMER Scottish Enterprise chief Steve Dunlop has joined Crosswind Developments, the company behind plans to build 2,500 homes and create more than one million sq ft of commercial space on an area around a decommissioned runway at Edinburgh Airport.

Mr Dunlop, who stepped down as head of the economic development agency last autumn, has been appointed as a non-executive director of Crosswind, which is part of Edinburgh Airport owner Global Infrastructure Partners.

Crosswind, which is pursuing the development of the site around the decommissioned runway under the “Elements Edinburgh” name, notes it is independent of the airport with its own board chaired by former chancellor of the exchequer Lord Alistair Darling.

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It was announced last October that Mr Dunlop was stepping down as chief executive of Scottish Enterprise after two-and-a-half years in the role.

Crosswind noted Mr Dunlop, who was chief executive of Scottish Canals for six years before taking the top job at Scottish Enterprise, had done some consultancy work with leadership company Ceannas since leaving the economic development agency.

Mr Dunlop’s remuneration for the non-executive director post has not been disclosed by Crosswind. The development company noted Mr Dunlop would in his new post attend six to eight board meetings per year and be involved as and when required, pointing out the role was not for a set number of days per month.

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Crosswind noted consultancy BiGGAR Economics had estimated the development of Elements Edinburgh would generate 6,600 jobs and boost Scotland’s annual economic output, on the gross value-added measure, by £460 million.

It declared that Elements Edinburgh would include a “digital quarter to help turbo-boost Scotland’s technology sector by supporting start-ups, growing digital businesses and global tech firms”.

Crosswind submitted an application for Elements Edinburgh to City of Edinburgh Council in August 2020. The application is being considered by Scottish Government ministers.

Lord Darling said: “We are delighted Steve is joining us at this important phase of our plan to bring much-needed jobs and investment to this strategically important part of Edinburgh. Steve’s experience in terms of planning, economic development and regeneration will be invaluable.”

Mr Dunlop said: “I am delighted to join the Crosswind board at this exciting stage in the development. As we deal fairly with the economic and social impact of the pandemic, I believe Scotland can really benefit from projects of this type which places jobs, technology, sustainability, inclusion and biodiversity at its core.”

Crosswind chief executive John Watson said he looked forward to gaining the benefit of Mr Dunlop’s experience and expertise as part of the board.

Mr Watson added: “We have remained committed to building Elements Edinburgh during the global pandemic and are now eager to press on with this redevelopment to bring jobs and investment into Scotland as soon as we are able.”