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UKHospitality Scotland appoints new executive director Leon Thompson
29th March 2021

UKHospitality Scotland appoints new executive director

Written by: Edward Waddell
Trade body UKHospitality has announced that Leon Thompson has been appointed UKHospitality Scotland executive director succeeding Willie Macleod who is retiring.

Thompson is joining from VisitScotland where he has led their policy agenda since 2013 and helped to build networks among ministers, cabinet secretaries and key industry stakeholders.

Thompson will take up the role from 4 May 2021. He said: “I am very much looking forward to joining UKHospitality, spearheading its work in Scotland and building upon Willie’s success. From my work at VisitScotland, I know that this sector is an immensely diverse and exciting one.

“I am looking forward to meeting UKH’s members and fighting to ensure the Governments in Holyrood and Westminster, and local authorities across Scotland work with us to get the best out of our businesses.”

Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UKHospitality, commented: “I am delighted to welcome Leon to UKHospitality. Leon brings many years’ worth of expertise and a huge amount of political acumen working with policy-makers in Scotland.

“He knows the sector inside out and has done brilliant work in positioning Scotland as a world-class tourist destination. I know he will be unstinting in his efforts to ensure we remain the number one advocate of hospitality in Scotland.

“I would also like to thank Willie for his years of dedication to an industry he first worked in as a teenager. Willie is much-loved in the hospitality community and brought a welcome sense of continuity during UKHospitality’s first few years. His hard work has ensured that valuable hospitality businesses in Scottish communities have had a voice at the highest levels of Government.”

Macleod will retire after nearly ten years championing Scottish hospitality businesses, as Scotland’s executive director for BHA and then its successor UKHospitality.

Macleod added: “It has been a privilege and pleasure to champion Scotland’s fantastic hospitality sector for ten years during very challenging times – especially now as the industry is on the verge of re-opening and recovering from the ravages of Covid-19.

“This is a vigorous, hardworking and resilient sector that shows the best of Scottish ingenuity and generosity. It has evolved hugely in the time that I have been promoting its interests and we can proudly say it is genuinely world class.”