Falkirk’s ‘transformational’ canals man leaves for new top job

Steve Dunlop.
Steve Dunlop.

The man who headed Scottish Canals at the time Falkirk’s Helix Park and Kelpies were being developed is leaving to become chief executive of Scottish Enterprise.

Steve Dunlop (56), whose previous posts have included a directorship at Falkirk Council, is said to have been the driving force that has transformed Scotland’s inland waterways.

Helix Park and the Kelpies were both developed during Mr Dunlop's 'transformational' tenure as chief of Scottish Canals.

Helix Park and the Kelpies were both developed during Mr Dunlop's 'transformational' tenure as chief of Scottish Canals.

Scottish Canals says he made them a catalyst for economic and social regeneration, with innovative partnerships and bold investment decisions helping to create jobs and sustainable communities.

Helix Park and the Kelpies, together with the revitalisation of North Glasgow, are cited as two main knock-on effects of the canals regeneration that took place during his tenure.

As a member of the Board of main tourism body VisitScotland, and with previous experience of senior leadership roles in the public sector, Steve brings with him a track record of driving inclusive economic growth across the UK.

Mr Dunlop said: “There has never been a more important time to help Scottish businesses grow and internationalise.

“At Scottish Enterprise, I look forward to collaborating with other public bodies, the private sector and our world-class academic institutions to help optimise our talent, resources and ambition in ways that genuinely benefit Scotland.”

Economy Minister Keith Brown said: “Steve is a talented leader with a fantastic ability to bring people, partners and stakeholders with him in driving meaningful and sustainable change.

“He is one of the most passionate and entrepreneurial leaders we have in Scotland and I am delighted he has accepted the role to lead Scottish Enterprise working in close collaboration with national and local partners to deliver a more joined up economic development system across Scotland.”

Mr Dunlop, who takes up his new post next month, replaces Lena Wilson, who said last year she was leaving after nearly eight years.