Media Release: Blackwood appoints GHA executive director as new chief executive

Fanchea Kelly and Steve White allmedia

BLACKWOOD, the award-winning organisation providing 1,600 properties across 29 local authorities in Scotland, has appointed Fanchea Kelly as its new chief executive.

Formerly executive director of housing and support services at Glasgow Housing Association, Ms Kelly will bring over 20 years; experience in housing in Scotland to the Registered Social Landlord when she formally takes over the reins at Blackwood from outgoing chief executive, Steve White, in September.

Welcoming Ms Kelly to the organisation, Stephen Gallagher, chair of Blackwood, said: “It is something of a coup to have been able to attract an individual of such calibre and reputation as Fanchea to assume the role of chief executive at Blackwood.

“Our ability to do so has been assisted greatly by the recent completion of a three-year transformational change programme initiated, led and delivered by our interim chief executive, Steve White.

“Recent years have seen Blackwood develop a national reputation for excellent integrated housing and care services and sound entrepreneurial business management.

“Steve has played a lead role in developing that enviable reputation. Fanchea brings a wealth of experience and a strong track record of delivery to take Blackwood to the next stage of its development with a sustained focus on customer experience and service innovation.”

Ms Kelly has led senior teams in City of Edinburgh Council, North Ayrshire and the inspection team in Communities Scotland, as well as a spell in CoSLA, where she contributed to the Housing (Scotland) Act 2001.

She has specialised in strategy and policy development and has also delivered successful stock transfers and partnership projects. In addition, she has non-executive board experience with a number of organisations and companies.

Of her appointment, Ms Kelly said: “I was attracted to Blackwood following its transformation over recent years into a modern, customer-focused organisation which remains proud of the legacy of its founder, Margaret Blackwood.

“Having been closely involved with the strategic direction and management of services across Glasgow at GHA for some years, I welcome the challenge of assuming the chief executive role to help Blackwood’s board shape the strategy for the organisation at this critical point in its history.

“I’m personally committed to ensuring that Blackwood continues to deliver exceptional quality of support and care in all the communities we serve.”

Steve White, interim chief executive at Blackwood, said: “I’m looking forward to supporting Fanchea however possible during the handover period; a process that has been particularly well-managed under the direct supervision of the chair.

“I believe that some of the main successes achieved by Blackwood as an organisation over recent years have centred on improved communication, engagement and getting closer to our customers.

“I hope to have helped the organisation secure a sustainable future and to be well-placed to provide excellent services across the country. I now look forward to my next challenge, as Fanchea takes over from me on 20th September.”


For further information please contact Colleen Robertson on 0131 317 0173

Issued on behalf of Blackwood by Liquorice Media tel 0141 561 4018

Date: 24th July 2013

Notes to editors:

  • Blackwood provides high-quality, accessible housing and support services for people in mainland Scotland. With more than 1,600 homes (mostly new build) in management, it recently embarked on an ambitious programme of planned maintenance which will continue to be a large part of its activities, bringing its stock up to or exceeding the Scottish Quality Housing Standard for 2015.
  • The Blackwood Group consists of Margaret Blackwood Housing Association, The Blackwood Foundation and Margaret Blackwood Technical Consultants. The Blackwood Foundation works to support and enhance independent living for people with a disability or support need. Its aim is to be a catalyst for innovation, development and improvement. The work of Blackwood Foundation is focused on design and technology.

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Contact: Susan Christie
Phone: 01415614018