First Minister unveils new Cabinet and Junior Minister Appointments

As members will undoubtedly be aware, the new First Minister Humza Yousaf has been quick out of the blocks in unveiling his new Cabinet and appointments as junior ministers, with quite a considerable shake-up that has possible ramifications for our industry. A full list of all the appointments can be found by clicking here.

Members will likely be aware that Ivan McKee, former Minister for Tourism, has left the Scottish Government and there has been no appointment of a specific Tourism Minister to replace him. Instead, tourism now comes under the remit of Richard Lochhead in his role as Minister for Small Business, Innovation & Trade. In this role, Mr Lochhead will support the new Cabinet Secretary for Wellbeing Economy, Fair Work & Energy, Neil Gray.

ASVA is disappointed to see Mr McKee leave his role, as our CEO, Gordon Morrison, had built a positive working relationship with the Minister with very good lines of communication established. It is also disappointing that there is no dedicated Tourism Minister within the Scottish Government anymore, especially as this is an industry that is vital to Scotland economically, socially and culturally. Gordon has, however, written to both Mr Lochhead and Mr Gray welcoming them to their new roles, sharing with them insights from ASVA’s most recent sector-wide survey, highlighting the challenges facing many in our sector just now, and emphasising the need for the Scottish Government to further recognise the importance of our sector to Scotland.  An invitation has also been offered to Mr Lochhead to meet with our CEO, Chair and ASVA Board at his earliest convenience.

The organisation also welcomes the appointment of Christina McKelvie as the new Minister for Culture, Europe & International Development. Just two weeks ago, Gordon had the opportunity to meet with her predecessor Neil Gray, now the Cabinet Secretary for the Wellbeing Economy, in the fabulous setting of Peterhead Prison Museum to discuss some of the challenges facing cultural attractions in Scotland, and he very much looks forward to picking up this dialogue with Ms McKelvie in the coming weeks.

We are sure that all ASVA members would join us in welcoming each of the above to their new roles and would echo our call to each that the Scottish Government must take more positive action to recognise the significance of our sector to Scotland, both economically and culturally.