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New boss appointed for High Life Highland

By Gregor White

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New HLH boss Steve Walsh.
New HLH boss Steve Walsh.

Highland Council's current head of IT will take over at the sports and culture body from September.

Steve Walsh,also a former "high flier" with the Royal Air Force, will replace outgoing High Life Highland (HLH) chief executive Ian Murray when he retires.

Along with his air force and council experience, in a post he has held since 2016, Mr Walsh has also worked in the private sector as a business development executive.

He amassed more than 4500 flying hours on the Nimrod jet in the RAF and took part in several operational overseas tours including in Afghanistan and Iraq.

He is a non-executive board member of Inverness College UHI, holds a number of roles in the voluntary sector and was awarded the OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List of 2013.

Mr Walsh said: “It is a huge honour and privilege to join the fantastic team at High Life Highland.

“The work of High Life Highland encompasses much of what inspires and motivates me as a person.

“Providing equal access to culture, learning, sport, leisure, health and wellbeing has never been more important in our society.

“Moreover, as a current member of Highland Council’s executive leadership team, I understand the community challenges and opportunities against an increasingly challenging financial backdrop facing the council.

“Across the Highlands those challenges and opportunities vary greatly and therefore a priority must be to develop solutions that allow local voices to be heard in terms of shaping the services offered by HLH for the future.”

Chairman of the High Life Highland board, Donald McLachlan, said: “Within the ongoing context of challenging public sector finances, theboard of High Life Highland welcomes the extensive experience in leadership and change management that Steve will bring to the organisation’s future development.”

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