Property developer Tim Allan has been unveiled as president of Dundee and Angus Chamber of Commerce and has pledged to use the platform to lead the region’s economic agenda.
The Unicorn Property Group director said he would oversee a “robust, relevant and representative” body to lobby for business interests, but does not intend to be “the traditional type of figurehead”.
Mr Allan a former equerry to The Duke of York joins an organisation in the throes of developing a new strategic plan to guide its work over the next three years.
The document is intended to ensure Chamber members can capitalise on the myriad opportunities offered by game changing developments on Dundee’s waterfront – including the landmark V&A museum.
“I would like to be more proactive and involved in the business agenda across our region,” Mr Allan told The Courier, adding that the Chamber would seek to “expand its influence, services, network and offering”.
“It’s not enough for the Chamber to be looking after its members or to be a club for its members it has to be a relevant body leading the agenda for business and the economy,” he said.
Mr Allan expects that connectivity by air and rail, skills and employability, and much-heralded opportunities in the renewables industry will be key areas of concern but wants to “properly understand” the needs and views of members, and increase both the range of companies in membership and the size of the organisation’s board.
The appointment comes five months after former president Jim Pickett announced he was to stand down following just over a year in the post. Vice presidents Alison Henderson, of Dundee marketing and event management firm My Pinkie Promise, and Dave Valentine, who heads up Angus-based Valentine International Business Connections, have since divided leadership duties, alongside Chamber chief executive Sandra Burke.
Best-known for his work on Unicorn’s developments at City Quay, Mr Allan was appointed to the Chamber’s board in mid-March, alongside Deborah Miller, a city-based partner with law firm Simpson Marwick.
Ms Burke hailed his appointment as “great news”.
“Tim is an accomplished and astute entrepreneur who will provide a powerful voice for the business perspective and help us to develop an ever more relevant and representative chamber of commerce for Dundee and Angus,” she said.
“I keenly share that objective and am looking forward to working with Tim, the board of directors and our chamber members as we forge ahead together.”
Mr Allan’s decade-long Army career which included service in Africa, Cyprus, Germany and Canada saw him attain the rank of Major and also featured two years at Buckingham Palace. He later moved into banking and wealth management with Citigroup and UBS, before founding Unicorn in early 2006.
Alongside other business interests, Mr Allan has since served as the chair of Young Enterprise Scotland, sat on the board Scottish board of the BIG Lottery Fund and been made vice-chair of the V&A at Dundee campaign.
His appointment is subject to ratification at DACC’s annual general meeting, to be held on August 28 at the Carnoustie Golf Hotel. The Chamber will also advertise two board vacancies in advance of the meeting.
The organisation was founded in 2007, following the collapse of the former Dundee Chamber of Commerce. It has since grown to represent around 450 member companies, collectively employing more than 35,000 people.