Philip Long, who has been appointed chief of the National Trust for Scotalnd. Photo: Julie Howden/V&A Dundee

Philip Long, who has been appointed chief of the National Trust for Scotalnd. Photo: Julie Howden/V&A Dundee

The National Trust for Scotland has appointed a museum director as its next chief executive.

Philip Long will take over the post when the current boss Simon Skinner retires in July.

Mr Long is currently in charge of V&A Dundee, which he helped to set up after being appointed in 2011.

The conservation charity owns 76,000ha (187,800 acres) of land in Scotland, including large tracts of Glen Coe, Torridon and Mar Lodge. It manages 46 of the nation’s 282 munros, as well as numerous historic buildings and gardens.

Before his leadership of V&A Dundee, Mr Long was senior curator at the National Galleries of Scotland. His international work has included the curation of Scotland’s presentation at the Venice Biennale in 2007, responsibility for the UK presentation at the Milan Design Triennale in 2016 and advising museums and government agencies on the development of new cultural and heritage organisations.

He is an honorary professor of the University of Dundee, an honorary research fellow of St Andrews University, a member of the British Council’s arts and creative economy committee, and a board member of Creative Scotland. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and in 2019 was the recipient of an award for transforming Scotland from the Institute of Directors.

He received an OBE in the New Year’s Honours in 2020 for services to culture and heritage.

Mr Long said: “It is a great honour to be appointed as the new chief executive of the National Trust for Scotland, an organisation which I greatly admire, and whose properties I’ve enjoyed for many years.

“The trust is invaluable to our nation. The buildings and landscape in its care, which it makes accessible to millions of visitors every year, are truly world-class, defining our country’s heritage, culture and identity at its most outstanding. I am looking forward immensely to joining the trust’s team and am fortunate to be succeeding Simon Skinner, who I would like to thank for his outstanding work.”

Glen Coe is among the NTS's most popular mountain properties. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Glen Coe is among the NTS's most popular mountain properties. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

National Trust for Scotland chairman Sir Mark Jones said: “I can speak for the board of trustees in saying we are delighted that Philip Long has agreed to become the charity’s chief executive.

“His background in Scottish art and design is impeccable and his proven leadership skills, with which he led the V&A Dundee project to an acclaimed conclusion, will be a considerable asset to us as we face the challenges of the future.

“He has formidable knowledge of collections and exhibitions, which I am sure will be put to good use as we seek to make our properties more engaging and accessible to more people.

“I also want to offer my profound thanks to Simon Skinner. He has selflessly agreed to stay on longer as chief executive to ensure continuity of leadership pending Philip’s arrival in July.

“Simon’s contribution to the reform and modernisation of the trust over the last five years has been immense and his leadership skills have shone through yet again during the current public health emergency.”

The NTS was established in 1931 as the National Trust for Scotland for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty. The membership organisation has similar aims to the National Trust, which operates in the rest of the UK.

Under powers granted to the charity by legislation, it has the ability to enter into legally binding conservation agreements that enable it to protect important places that it doesn’t own, reinforcing what it says is its mission to speak up for all of Scotland’s heritage wherever and whenever it’s under threat.

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