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BAFTA nominated professor appointed

Professor Robin MacPherson.

THE UNIVERSITY of the Highlands and Islands has appointed a BAFTA-nominated film and TV producer as its first ever chair of creative industries – a post to be based at Shetland College.

Professor Robin MacPherson has worked in Scotland since 1980, entering the film and TV industry in 1989 at the Edinburgh Film Workshop Trust, and has since produced numerous documentaries, current affairs programmes and dramas.

Those include BAFTA-nominated drama ‘The Butterfly Man’ and the Scottish BAFTA-nominated ‘Tree Fellers’.

He established Screen Academy Scotland in 2005 and joins UHI from Edinburgh’s Napier University.

MacPherson will take up the new post in August and will be tasked with enhancing UHI’s creative industry activities. That will include fostering and strengthening links with cultural businesses and organisations across the Highlands and Islands. 

The post is being partly funded by Shetland Islands Council, Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and Creative Scotland.

A recent HIE study estimated the sector is worth £300 million a year to the area, employing around 16,000 people. The sector’s worth to Shetland is estimatmed at £2.5 million a year.

Professor MacPherson said: “I’m delighted to be joining Scotland’s newest university, helping it to support the vibrant creative sector both in Shetland and across the Highlands and Islands.

“From new course development to partnering in research and knowledge exchange, there are fantastic opportunities for collaboration with the cultural and creative sector and I’m really looking forward to making new connections from Shetland right across the UHI network.” 

UHI’S principal and vice-chancellor, Professor Clive Mulholland, welcomed the new recruit: “His expertise is built on a wealth of practical experience and academic research and he is highly regarded in his field.

“The university already has a strong portfolio of creative subjects, including music, art, drama, craft and textile courses. Professor MacPherson will be a valuable asset in developing our scholarship in this area, in positioning the university as a centre of creative excellence and in supporting the Highlands and Islands’ creative industries.”

Shetland College’s board chairman, SIC councillor Peter Campbell, said he too was delighted by the appointment.

“He is highly respected in his field and will prove himself to be a valuable asset to the UHI and Shetland College,” he said.

“We look forward to welcoming him to Shetland and working with him to build on existing strengths and to develop additional courses in the creative industries.”