Lorna Young, who has been a member of the IED since 2017, is an expert in the south of Scotland economy including its communities, businesses and key sectors.
She was formerly a board member of South of Scotland Economic Partnership.
With a professional background in strategic communications, over the past decade Lorna has used marketing-led approaches to amplify the impact of rural economic development activity; tackling a range of projects, from individual business support to community-led tourism to food and drink sector strategic development.
She said: “I’m delighted to join the IED Board at a time when economic development has arguably never been more important or more visible, and I’m looking forward to bringing a south of Scotland and a rural perspective to the broader economic development discussion.
“My interest in supporting rural businesses has its roots in my own family’s experience of entrepreneurship, growth and exit through employee ownership. I saw first-hand the complex challenges that small business owners face and I understand how transformative effective and targeted business support can be.
“We’ve seen that most clearly in the past couple of years with the impact of Covid-19 on small and micro business owners, and that was particularly acute in rural communities. Certainly during the first lockdown, it was small businesses that faced the brunt of the economic shutdown, and in rural communities it was also small businesses that people turned to for support and essential supplies. That recent experience has fuelled my interest in championing the important role small businesses play in supporting resilience and community-building.”
She currently works with community groups, independent businesses and membership organisations on a project basis.
Welcoming her, IED executive director Nigel Wilcock said: “This is a crucial time for economic development across the four nations and we want to draw on the knowledge, expertise and ideas from within our membership, public and private sector, to support our mission. We are therefore delighted to welcome Lorna to the board of directors.”