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Speaker Biography

Richard Cairns

Richard, is Head of Economic Development at the Audit Commission, was responsible for the development and implementation of the Commissions approach to the assessment of Economic Development.

He was previously the Chief Executive of Glasgow Chamber of Commerce and the Head of Economic and Social Initiatives at Glasgow City council. He was one of the main contributors to the City's ambitious 10-year Economic Strategy 'Step Change for Glasgow' and was responsible for all of the major economic development initiatives in the City.

He was also Chairperson of the Scottish Local Authorities Economic Development Forum, and a member of the Scottish First Minister's Economic Practitioners Panel.

Prior to working with the City Council he was a founding Director of an economic development consultancy, working across the UK and in the EU, and the Assistant Chief Executive of Strathclyde European Partnership, managing the multi million pound ERDF and ESF programmes.

A graduate of both Glasgow Caledonian and Glasgow Universities, he has also been a guest lecturer on undergraduate and post graduate courses at the Universities of Glasgow, Strathclyde, and Western Scotland, and is a guest presenter for the ‘Common Purpose’ Leadership Programme. He is also a member of the British Telecom Community Grants judging panel.


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