THE University of the Highlands and Islands has appointed a BAFTA-nominated film and television producer as its first ever Chair of Creative Industries.
Professor Robin MacPherson has worked in Scotland’s creative industries sector since 1980.
He entered the film and television industry in 1989 at the Edinburgh Film Workshop Trust and has since produced numerous documentaries, current affairs programmes and dramas, including the BAFTA-nominated drama, The Butterfly Man, and the Scottish BAFTA-nominated Tree Fellers.
He established Screen Academy Scotland in 2005 and joins the University of the Highlands and Islands from Edinburgh Napier University, where he is currently director of its Institute for Creative Industries.
Professor MacPherson will take up his new post in August. Based at Shetland College UHI, he will be tasked with enhancing the university’s creative industries activities.
A key component of this will be to foster and strengthen links with cultural businesses and organisations across the Highlands and Islands to support the region’s creative economy and develop opportunities for students and staff.
Says a spokesperson: “With an estimated benefit to the Shetland economy of £2.4 million a year, the post is being partly funded by Shetland Islands Council, Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and Creative Scotland. A recent study by HIE estimated that the creative industries is worth £300m a year to the Highlands and Islands economy and that around 16,000 people are employed in the sector.”
Speaking about his appointment, Professor MacPherson said: “I’m delighted to be joining Scotland’s newest university, helping it to support the vibrant creative sector both in Shetland and across the Highlands and Islands.
“From new course development to partnering in research and knowledge exchange, there are fantastic opportunities for collaboration with the cultural and creative sector and I’m really looking forward to making new connections from Shetland right across the University of the Highlands and Islands network.”
Welcoming the new recruit, Professor Clive Mulholland, principal and vice-chancellor of the university, said: “We are excited to have appointed Professor MacPherson as our Chair of Creative Industries. His expertise is built on a wealth of practical experience and academic research and he is highly regarded in his field.
“The university already has a strong portfolio of creative subjects, including music, art, drama, craft and textile courses. Professor MacPherson will be a valuable asset in developing our scholarship in this area, in positioning the university as a centre of creative excellence and in supporting the Highlands and Islands’ creative industries.
“As a university which serves our region and its communities, we aim to help our students achieve as much as they can and encourage inward investment and business growth.”
Councillor Peter Campbell, chair of Shetland College UHI’s Board of Management, added: “I am delighted that Professor MacPherson has been appointed as the Chair of Creative Industries.
“He is highly respected in his field and will prove himself to be a valuable asset to the University of the Highlands and Islands and Shetland College.
“His personal experience will be of benefit to both teaching and research. We look forward to welcoming him to Shetland and working with him to build on existing strengths and to develop additional courses in the creative industries.”
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