The new head of Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce (AGCC) has vowed to bring fresh thinking to the position on his return to the north-east.
Russell Borthwick, a former executive with media group Trinity Mirror, started his role as chief executive today, replacing Bob Collier, who announced his retirement in May.
Mr Borthwick started his career at Aberdeen Journals and is a dedicated fan of Aberdeen Football Club.
Prior to taking up the post at AGCC, which represents more than 1,300 businesses with almost 130,000 employees, Mr Borthwick worked as a managing partner of a marketing agency network based in Newcastle.
He said: “It’s a challenging but exciting time to return to my native north-east, with the Aberdeen region dominating recent headlines.”
“I hope to bring some new perspectives and fresh thinking to the challenges facing us, our members and the region as a whole.
“Aberdeen has consistently been among the top five highest-growth cities in the UK and there are exciting opportunities on the horizon for the strategic development of the north-east.
Mr Borthwick, who finds himself back in Aberdeen after an absence of more than 20 years, also said AGCC would do its utmost to ensure the maximum rewards are reaped from the £250million City Region Deal, which was signed off last week.
Mr Borthwick said: “However ensuring the success of the Aberdeen City Region Deal will require the private and the public sectors to work seamlessly in collaboration and we at the chamber intend to play our full part in this, helping to stimulate the next cycle of regional economic growth.
“The chamber has a great membership base and we are a respected voice so this is a great opportunity to reinforce our relevance by demonstrating real leadership, talking up the many positives about business here and delivering actions that contribute to tackling the current issues while positioning the region’s economy strongly for the future.”