Ben Lomond is one of the NTS properties

Ben Lomond is one of the NTS properties

A former apprentice mechanic who worked his way up to be chief of one of the UK’s biggest bus companies will be the new head of the National Trust for Scotland.

Sir Moir Lockhead will take over as chairman of the conservation charity, which owns large parts of Glencoe and other mountain areas, next year.

He will head the trust when Sir Kenneth Calman retires next year.

Sir Moir, who lives in Royal Deeside, will lead the board of trustees. He has wide experience in business, latterly as chief executive of the train and bus operator FirstGroup

The new chairman was born in a mining village in County Durham and first came to Scotland in 1979 to be Glasgow City Transport’s chief engineer, where he oversaw the final stages of the underground’s refurbishment.

He joined Grampian Regional Transport as its general manager in 1985 and led a management and employee buyout in 1989. What ultimately became the Aberdeen-headquartered FirstGroup was floated on the stock exchange in 1994 and, as chief executive and deputy-chairman, Sir Moir steered it to becoming a multinational, £6bn business employing almost 130,000 people.

He was appointed an OBE in 1996 for services to the bus industry, knighted in 2008 and was awarded the VisitScotland Silver Thistle Award in 2010 for outstanding services to the tourism industry in Scotland.

Sir Moir Lockhead

Sir Moir Lockhead

Sir Moir retired from FirstGroup in late 2010 and has divided his time between cattle farming on his family’s Aberdeenshire estate and his role as the Scottish Rugby Union’s chairman since 2011.

He said: “Heritage means a great deal to me. I am fascinated by the stories of people and places and how we were all shaped by our environment and our past.

“I am relishing the chance to join this wonderful charity and to help it discharge its vital roles of caring for and promoting Scotland’s legacy to the world.

“Ken Calman will be a hard act to follow. He has guided the trust away from its most difficult of times and established the foundations for an assured and vibrant future. I look forward to building on his achievements, and those of many dedicated volunteers and staff, and helping the trust to reach a new level where it will earn its rightful place in hearts of all Scots and all who care about Scotland.”

Lesley Knox, chair of the National Trust for Scotland’s nominations committee, said: “Sir Moir’s record of leadership, his ability to motivate staff and volunteers and his wide experience of business, academia and not-for-profit organisations will be of enormous benefit to the National Trust for Scotland.

“He has a reputation for making things happen and will be the ideal appointment to the role of chairman as the National Trust for Scotland gears up to take on the challenges of conserving and promoting the best of Scotland’s past for the needs of the future.”

The National Trust for Scotland, though best known for its stewardship of historic buildings, owns swathes of mountain land, including Glencoe, Ben Lomond, Goat Fell, and Kintail.

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