Leading business figure takes up key role at Inverness Airport Business Park
One of the north of Scotland’s leading business figures is to take up the helm at Inverness Airport Business Park (IABP).
James Campbell has been appointed chair of IABP and will take up his three year post on 1 June.
In his new role, Mr Campbell will support Rory Black, IABP Business Development Manager, and the IABP Board, in securing further development of the 620 acre site.
Originally from Forres, Mr Campbell is a partner – and former chairman – at Johnston Carmichael. For more than 20 years, he has been part of the senior team of partners who have transformed a relatively small regional firm with its roots in Moray into the largest independent firm of Chartered Accountants and Business Advisers in Scotland. Although he will step down as a partner, James will continue with the firm as a part time consultant.
James has extensive experience across a range of industry sectors with particular expertise in agriculture, construction and property. He is also a former director of Highlands and Islands Enterprise (Moray) and the current chairman of Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival.
James Campbell said: “As someone who has spent all of my working life in the north, I am delighted to be taking on this new role. I am passionate about this part of the world and really determined to see Inverness and the Highlands move forward. This is an exciting time for the area with the opening of the new Inverness College UHI campus, the Inverness City Deal, the Tornagrain new town development and the expansion of Inverness Airport. I am very excited to be part of a wider city team working to transform employment and investment opportunities in Inverness. We have a tremendous way of life here, our economy is performing well and we are better connected as a region than we have ever been. I want to play my part in developing the area so that we create an environment where our young people come back to the Highlands to live and work, and to raise their families.”
The new chairman has a number of immediate priorities, including securing a new airport hotel. The site currently has planning consent in principle for a 100 bed hotel, with scope for further expansion.
He also believes there is potential to attract more inward investors and encourage more local businesses to relocate from the city, where there are fewer development opportunities. IABP now offers a flexible range of options to meet individual business requirements, including design and build leasehold agreements, or the freedom to purchase land on a long leasehold and self build. This flexibility could be the key to unlocking future development, according to Mr Campbell.
He said: “A lot of the important ground work has already been completed and I believe that with plans for a rail link now moving forward, major road improvements underway and Inverness Airport attracting KLM and British Airways this month, the business park is very much poised to take off. We currently have a healthy level of enquiries and we are actively targeting inward investors and existing Highland companies considering relocation. We have the capacity and flexibility to accommodate local demand for office and industrial units, and our transport connections make us the ideal location for businesses looking to invest and grow.
“I am very excited about the opportunities and I believe we can begin to make real progress.”
Inglis Lyon, managing director of Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd (HIAL), one of the IABP partners, said: “James is a well respected and well connected business figure in the north of Scotland. He brings significant business and commercial experience to the role, not least his expertise in construction and property and his experience over many years of supporting business development. James joins IABP at an important time, with two major tenants now on site, important new infrastructure in place, and discussions to secure further business investment gathering momentum. We look forward to working with him over the next three years to help IABP achieve its potential.”
IABP will be exhibiting at this year’s Farnborough International Airshow in July, one of the largest aviation trade events in the world, in a bid to promote the site – and the Highlands – to potential investors.