Business

SPF names new chair, just months after appointing the last one



The Scottish Property Federation (SPF) has named a new chair, just five months after appointing the previous one.

Kevin Robertson, managing director of KR Developments and previous vice-chair, takes over from Michaela Sullivan, who has joined East Lothian Council as head of planning services and economic development.

She was appointed last November, as the industry came to grips with a second wave of coronavirus-related restrictions on businesses and the wider economy.

Similarly to his predecessor, Robertson starts his tenure with a focus on potential post-pandemic recovery.

The SPF recently called for more to be done to attract investment into Scotland’s built environment and has published a recovery focused action plan ahead of the Holyrood elections next month.

The plan sets out a number of ways that the industry and government can work together to reduce barriers to investment, enhance Scotland’s infrastructure and create great places.

Robertson stated: “After an immensely difficult period for communities and businesses across Scotland, my number one priority is to ensure the property industry is in a strong position to play a leading role in our national recovery.

“This will mean addressing long-term challenges in addition to issues that need to be resolved quickly, such as our outdated business rates system.

“If we take the plight of our town centres as an example, the pandemic has hastened the need to rejuvenate our high streets with retail rapidly shifting online, while other sectors have been hit by low footfall as a result of home working – there are no quick fixes, but we must use this crisis to reimagine how we use such spaces for economic and social benefit in the future and build a collective vision for how to enact that change.”

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Robertson added: “I wish Michaela all the best for her exciting new role and thank her for all she has done for the organisation, particularly in light of the huge challenges faced by the property industry as a result of the pandemic.”

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