A Fort William business man who is at the forefront of the biomass sector in Scotland and the north of England has been appointed new chairman of Lochaber Chamber of Commerce.
Bruno Berardelli, managing director of Highland Wood Energy, (HWEnergy) received a unanimous vote at the chamber’s annual general meeting last night.
The 37-year-old set up the company, which specialises in biomass heating for the non-domestic market, in 2003 and now employs 50 dedicated and highly skilled staff operating nationwide.
He said: “The chamber is the voice for business at national and international level and it represents Lochaber businesses across all sectors.
“My aim as chairman is to encourage more participation from people who are already established, or in the process of setting up a business in the area, to become part of Scotland’s largest business organisation and get access to services, support and advice that will develop their ideas and promote their company’s ambitions”.
“Lochaber has lot to offer and so does the chamber in helping businesses to grow and prosper.”
He added that there was no other business organisation in Lochaber, which was run by businesses for businesses.
Mr Berardelli said: “Who is better placed to know how to succeed in business? With its affiliation to Scottish Chambers of Commerce, the local chamber is part of The Ultimate Business Network, contributing views on a variety of issues affecting business and industry in this country.
“There are about 1,000 businesses operating in Lochaber – from sole traders to multi-national organisations – and together our voices are stronger.”
Originally from a farming background in the Highlands, Mr Berardelli graduated from Glasgow University and spent a year in Australia working on a cattle station before joining Torren Energy, based in Glencoe in 2001.
Torren was among the first to introduce biomass into the UK and it was here that he developed his passion for this sustainable local fuel source.
Arisaig based Anne Widdop, of Fuze Ceremonies, was appointed as the chamber’s vice-chairwoman.