Scotland’s Towns Partnership, the nation’s ‘go to’ body for towns, has today announced the appointment of two new board members with expertise in asset and environmental management.  

Stephen Gemmell, Director with Currie & Brown UK, and Martin Valenti, Head of Strategic Initiatives at the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) join STP, the national body supporting the sustainability and development of Scotland’s towns.  

Martin Valenti of SEPA brings his vast knowledge of the environment and how environmental management connects to the towns agenda, including circular economies, waste and energy advice, sustainability in business, sustainable design, and natural capital valuation.  

Stephen Gemmell of Currie Brown will contribute his extensive experience of asset management, which will be highly relevant given the current push for community asset transfer and land reform.

Both figures join STP at a time of expansion in the organisation’s work and focus. This includes linking the Scottish Government’s Town Centre Action Plan to the recently created World Towns Framework.

In June 2016, STP was an organising partner in the first ever World Towns Leadership Summit, which was hosted in Edinburgh. At the summit, delegates from around the world created the World Towns Framework, which focuses on the areas of Unique Identity of Place, Local Economies, Governance and Citizenship, and Environments.

Other initiatives being supported by STP in 2017 include the creation of guidance on digital strategies for towns, and the coordination of partners and agencies around a town centre housing agenda.

In conjunction with a consortium of organisations, STP will also launch a comprehensive update to the popular town data tool, Understanding Scottish Places, early in the year.

Phil Prentice, Chief Officer of Scotland’s Towns Partnership said:

"The work of Scotland's Towns Partnership is evolving and we are now looking at supporting towns in the context of the dimensions of economy, environment, identity, assets and leadership. These two new appointments to our board will help us build our expertise in these areas”.

Stephen Gemmell, Director with Currie Brown UK, said:

"I have been impressed with the impact of Scotland's Towns Partnership on improving town and community life in Scotland. There is, however, still much to do and I look forward immensely to supporting STP on this journey."

Martin Valenti, Head of Strategic Initiatives for SEPA said:

“I am thrilled to be joining the board of STP and can’t wait to get involved in working as part of the organisation’s evolution.  The team at STP are highly skilled at identifying opportunities for improving our towns, and I am eager to be a part of that”. 

“It is clear to me that Scotland’s towns already play a major role in driving inclusive and sustainable economic success, and I am especially keen to develop collaborations between all sectors of society which demonstrate the economic and societal benefits that will be gained by working within planetary constraints. Demand for resources clearly outstrips supply, and so the opportunity for Scotland’s Towns Partnership is to help to bring together the right collaborations to ensure Scotland continues to lead the world on tackling climate change, as well as promoting practical solutions for communities and businesses to prosper using the ‘One Planet’ strategy”.

ENDS

Note to editors

Media contact: Ewan Robertson, ewan@scotlandstowns.org, 07469967230.

The full list of Scotland’s Towns Partnership board members can be viewed here: http://www.scotlandstowns.org/board-members

Scotland’s Towns Partnership is a non-profit agency which supports the sustainability and development of Scotland’s towns. It has members from the public, private and third sectors. 

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