Former SE boss Steve Dunlop to chair Crosswind

Steve Dunlop

Crosswind Developments, the team behind a proposed development that promises 3,000 new homes near Edinburgh Airport, has appointed former Scottish Enterprise CEO Steve Dunlop as its new chair.

Dunlop’s appointment follows the recent death of previous chair Alistair Darling, the former UK finance minister.

“Dunlop is an experienced regeneration and economic development professional who has served as a non-executive director of Crosswind since July 2021, following a spell as chief executive of Scottish Enterprise,” said Crosswind.

“He is also currently the chief executive of FOR:EV, an electric vehicle charging company.”

Crosswind is spearheading a proposal that aims to transform the site of a disused runway at Edinburgh Airport into a new community encompassing 3,000 homes, 50,000 sq m of commercial space, and an estimated 4,000 jobs.

The 72-acre brownfield site is adjacent to the International Business Gateway site and the proposed West Town Edinburgh development, for which a planning application was submitted earlier this month.

Dunlop said: “It is a privilege to take the role of Crosswind Developments chair, even though it comes in the saddest of circumstances.

“Alistair was a passionate advocate of sustainable and affordable housing and his guidance and wisdom were an invaluable resource. We will all miss him.

“My new role comes at a critical juncture for Edinburgh’s housing strategy. The 2030 city plan is currently under examination and a housing emergency has recently been declared.

“It is crucial that Edinburgh’s housing stock meets the needs of the future. The principles behind Elements Edinburgh: sustainable placemaking, job creation, and economic prosperity, mean it is set to meet this challenge.

“Moreover, we believe that these principles chime with the council’s priorities for the city over the coming years.”

Crosswind Developments CEO John Watson said: “We are still coming to terms with Alistair’s loss and the void he has left, both personally and professionally.

“We are fortunate to have a very strong board, though, and Steve is extremely well qualified to step into the chairman’s role as we prepare to submit an application to the council for our Elements Edinburgh development.

“Steve’s experience and passion for economic development, urban regeneration and inward investment makes him an excellent ambassador for Crosswind’s ambitions for the city region.”

Crosswind’s other non-executive board members are Lesley Sawers and Andrew Sutherland.

Sawers is interim deputy chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) and has more than 30 years’ experience working at senior levels within the private, public and third sectors. She is also a director of GenAnalytics, a data analytics and research consultancy.

Sutherland is a former managing director of Miller Group who has worked in commercial property and development for over three decades. He is a former chairman of the Scottish Property Federation and a member of the regeneration committee of the British Property Federation.

Dunlop has more than 25 years’ experience of planning, regeneration and economic development. He was chief executive of Scottish Enterprise from 2018 until October 2020.

He was chief executive of Scottish Canals for nearly six years prior to that and the director responsible for Scotland and regeneration at British Waterways from 2006 until 2012.

His other roles have included director of regeneration for Newcastle City Council and director of community services for Falkirk Council.