Europe's biggest greenspace project now has a champion to drive forward the transformation of Scotland's central belt into a more attractive place to live and work.
With vast experience in local government, environmental bodies and public relations, Keith Geddes will become the first Chair of the Central Scotland Green Network partnership board.
Keith's job will be to guide the strategic development of the ambitious project, which aims to green up landscape settings and bring back to life the area's post-industrial legacy of derelict and vacant land.
Environment Minister Roseanna Cunningham said:
"With over three million people living in the project's boundary, the Central Scotland Green Network has huge potential to change a great many lives for the better.
"A key element to making this happen will be partnership working across all the agencies, communities and public bodies found in the area. Keith's skills and experience will be invaluable to taking this forward and I wish him every success."
Keith Geddes has a strong background in local government and environmental bodies. He served as President of COSLA between 1996-99. Currently he is Deputy Chair of Scottish Natural Heritage, a post he relinquishes in March, and between 2003 and 2009 he chaired greenspacescotland the body set up to provide a national lead on local action to improve the environment of our towns and cities. Currently he is policy director in an employee owned public relations company. On a personal level he is a member of the John Muir Trust.
Mr Geddes commented:
"I'm delighted to take up this challenge and look forward to working with the vast range of organisations which will help make this groundbreaking initiative successful.
"In the current economic climate more needs to be done to make the central belt a location for inward investment, business expansion and tourism. Working in partnership with established bodies such as the Glasgow and Clyde Valley Green Network, the Edinburgh and Lothians Greenspace Trust and local community groups, our goal is to make the central belt of Scotland a thriving and vibrant place where the environment helps communities and business flourish."
The Central Scotland Green Network is one of 14 ‘national developments' designated in the Scottish Government's 2nd National Planning Framework, along with projects such as the new Forth Road Bridge and high speed rail link from Scotland to London.
The area covered by the initiative stretches from Ayrshire, Inverclyde and Dunbartonshire in the west, through to Fife and East Lothian in the east.