Guest speaker at the business meeting of Lochaber Rotary Club on 4 October was Duncan Mackison, Executive Manager of Jahama Estates – the property arm of GFC Alliance estates. Other arms include the SIMEC Group that is now running the two former BA hydro-power stations, and Liberty House which is now operating the aluminium smelter.   Duncan was formerly the chief operating officer for the largest private landowner in the UK – the Duke of Buccleuch. In his new role his remit includes the largest of the GFC estates – the former BA land extending to nearly 120,000 acres. The land is made up of some of the most stunning scenery in Europe including Ben Nevis. The estates provide the catchment area for the water supply to the hydropower stations at Fort William and Kinlochleven.
Duncan will also act as general ambassador for the GFG Alliance in Scotland, and will lead discussions with Scottish Government, Highland Council, public sector agencies and local communities to develop major industrial, agricultural and recreational projects for the Alliance. He will be heavily involved in GFG Alliance’s economic redevelopment around Fort William, which includes building a large-scale alloy wheels manufacturing plant and multiple projects across adjoining lands covering renewable energy, outdoor sports, tourist facilities, forestry and new agricultural activity.  Duncan responded to a wide range of questions and, on behalf of the Club, Past-President Finlay Finlayson thanked Duncan for the insight into the wider economic picture in Lochaber. Members responded with appreciative applause.
postscript – Immediate Past-President Paula Ross’ niece Nicola Dale also works for Jahama!  –  small world!
Pictured is President-Elect Iain Johnston, Duncan Mackison, President Donald McCorkindale and Past-President Finlay Finlayson.

Thanks to Iain Ferguson for the photos.