A CHIEF executive has been appointed to the Inverness and Cromarty Green Freeport.

Inverness-born Calum MacPherson is a qualified lawyer who worked in economic development in the Highlands and Enterprise for 12 years, and has latterly spent more than a decade in infrastructure with the Robertson Group. He will take up the post with the Freeport in August.

Mr MacPherson, who lives in Beauly, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to lead an organisation that will play a central role in creating exciting careers for people across the Highlands and further afield, attracting large-scale international investment and playing a central role in delivering net-zero; and putting Inverness and the Cromarty Firth firmly on the renewables map globally.

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“I am honoured to be leading ICF Green Freeport Ltd as we move to the next phase of development. As a region we need to do all we can to capitalise on this window of opportunity and by close working with consortium partners and stakeholders I’m confident we’ll be in a strong position to secure investment and new high-quality jobs.

“ICFGF has the potential to be a hugely transformative story for local communities in the Highlands and beyond and I look forward to getting started.”

Green freeports are large, zoned areas which include a rail, sea, or airport and where economic development is stimulated through a range of tax and other incentives. They are required to contribute to a range of policy objectives, including promoting regeneration, high-quality job creation, decarbonisation and a just transition to a net-zero economy.

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Inverness and Cromarty secured freeport status last year after following a selection process run by the Scottish and UK Governments. The Firth of Forth lodged the other successful bid in Scotland, while submissions for the Clyde, North East Scotland and Orkney lost out.

Jim Smith, chair of ICF Green Freeport, said: “As you would expect, the recruitment for a chief executive for ICFGF was an extensive selection process. We needed someone with the skillset and background to be able to hit the ground running.

“We are delighted to have attracted an individual of the calibre and experience that Calum brings. His knowledge will be a significant advantage allowing the Inverness and Cromarty Firth Green Freeport to deliver on the ambitions outlined in our Green Freeport bid on job creation, inward investment, and decarbonisation.”