Scottish Canals has announced the appointment of John Paterson as Chief Executive Officer to lead the organisation into a new era to deliver more value for the people of Scotland.

Scottish Canals’ Chair Maureen Campbell announced today that John will take the helm this May following the departure of Catherine Topley to Student Awards Agency Scotland.

John joins Scottish Canals as Chief Executive Officer from NHS Tayside. He has over 30 years of dedicated public service and was among more than 60 people from across the United Kingdom who applied for the high-profile post. A panel comprising of a representative from Transport Scotland, two Scottish Canals’ Board members and Scottish Canals Chair, supported by a recruitment specialist, led a short list of nine candidates through a robust, multi-stage, recruitment process. The panel was unanimous in confirming John Paterson as the successful candidate.

John Paterson photo and presentation

Speaking of the appointment Maureen said: 

“We are delighted to announce the appointment of John Paterson as Scottish Canals new Chief Executive Officer. It was a competitive recruitment process, with more than 60 applications for the role and it is testament to what the Scottish Canals team has achieved until this point, that we were able to attract such high calibre applicants.

“John will join Scottish Canals in May with over 30 years’ dedicated public service experience, his passion for delivering real public benefit linked to people’s health and wellbeing and community empowerment, combined with his wide-reaching business knowledge will see him lead Scottish Canals into a new and exciting era where our 200-year-old canals can be re-imagined and re-purposed to deliver more for the people of Scotland.”

John, who has led several high-value capital and revenue projects during his career, said: 

“It is a huge privilege to be given the opportunity to lead Scottish Canals’ dedicated and passionate team who work with communities and visitors across Scotland. Together with our stakeholders, we will work tirelessly to ensure the continued relevance and successful future of Scotland’s prized heritage assets.

“Scottish Canals play a vital role in supporting Scotland’s people, visitors, and economy. I aim to further maximise the canals potential, providing the arena for; better health and wellbeing, increased economic output, accessible and sustainable tourism and leisure opportunities and a more connected active travel network; whilst also capitalising on and preserving Scotland’s 140 miles of historic monuments and irreplaceable heritage.”

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